Skip to main content

Full text of "Hitler's Spanish Legion : the Blue Division in Russia"

See other formats

This is a digital copy of a book that was preserved for generations on library shelves before it was carefully scanned by Google as part of a project 
to make the world's books discoverable online. 

It has survived long enough for the copyright to expire and the book to enter the public domain. A public domain book is one that was never subject 
to copyright or whose legal copyright term has expired. Whether a book is in the public domain may vary country to country. Public domain books 
are our gateways to the past, representing a wealth of history, culture and knowledge that's often difficult to discover. 

Marks, notations and other marginalia present in the original volume will appear in this file - a reminder of this book's long journey from the 
publisher to a library and finally to you. 

Usage guidelines 

Google is proud to partner with libraries to digitize public domain materials and make them widely accessible. Public domain books belong to the 
public and we are merely their custodians. Nevertheless, this work is expensive, so in order to keep providing this resource, we have taken steps to 
prevent abuse by commercial parties, including placing technical restrictions on automated querying. 

We also ask that you: 

+ Make non- commercial use of the files We designed Google Book Search for use by individuals, and we request that you use these files for 
personal, non-commercial purposes. 

+ Refrain from automated querying Do not send automated queries of any sort to Google's system: If you are conducting research on machine 
translation, optical character recognition or other areas where access to a large amount of text is helpful, please contact us. We encourage the 
use of public domain materials for these purposes and may be able to help. 

+ Maintain attribution The Google "watermark" you see on each file is essential for informing people about this project and helping them find 
additional materials through Google Book Search. Please do not remove it. 

+ Keep it legal Whatever your use, remember that you are responsible for ensuring that what you are doing is legal. Do not assume that just 
because we believe a book is in the public domain for users in the United States, that the work is also in the public domain for users in other 
countries. Whether a book is still in copyright varies from country to country, and we can't offer guidance on whether any specific use of 
any specific book is allowed. Please do not assume that a book's appearance in Google Book Search means it can be used in any manner 
anywhere in the world. Copyright infringement liability can be quite severe. 

About Google Book Search 

Google's mission is to organize the world's information and to make it universally accessible and useful. Google Book Search helps readers 
discover the world's books while helping authors and publishers reach new audiences. You can search through the full text of this book on the web 

at jhttp : //books . qooqle . com/ 

'V *- 


3f * *V.*»-' 


'c' ' : '. 


>* >****-/ 

/&** *4&£ fa-', t , 













T th Edition — Improved. 


- % ■nftKOTYFKD BY J. A. JAXSS. 


(?j2c '.fas. &y> >: ,~) 

n tin -'A'-. /, JJl 



'©no j° *>i*»«a 9 v J° 9 °wo vk»i6 o| i» "i 
'aotoatoo aoHoao as 

'8S81 JB3 ^ 9! P u * 4 w«3uo3 jo^oy o> SuipaoaoB poaaiug 



In presenting to the public the life and adventures of 
Black. Hawk, some account of the Sao and Fox Indians 
—of .Keokuk, their distinguished chiefs— and of the 
causes which led to the late contest between these tribes 
and the United States, was necessarily involved. The 
introduction of these . collateral subjects, may possibly 
impart additional interest to this volume. 

. In speaking of the policy of. the government towards 
the fragment of^Sacs and Foxes, with whom Black 
Hawk was associated, it has been necessary to censure 
some of its acts, and to comment with freedom upon, the 
Qfi^w^ -conduct ? of a few, public officers. 

The Indians are frequently denounced as faithless, 

ferocious and untameable. Without going into the in* 

#tfry* How 4 fat this charge is founded in troths the ques- 

tib n * arty bfe asked, has not 'the policy of out govern- 

nteiit contributed; essentially, to impart to them that 

character ? Have We- not more frequently met them in 

bad faiih, than. hi a Christian' spirit? and sustained our 
A 2 5 


relations with them, more by the power of the sword 
than the law of kindness ? In the inscrutable ways of 
Providence, the Indians are walking in ignorance and 
moral darkness. It is the solemn duty, and should be 
the highest glory of this nation, to bring them out of 

* that condition, and elevate them m the scale of social and 
intellectual being. But, how is this duty performed % 
We gravely recognize them as an independent people, 
and treat them as vassals : We make solemn compacts 
with them, which we interpret as our interest dictates, 
but punish them if they follow the example : We ad- 
mit their title to the land which they occupy, and at the 
same tiine literally compel them to sell it to us upon our 
own terms : We send agents and missionaries to re* 
j claim them from the error of their ways— to bring them 
from tne hunter to the pastoral life ; and yet permit our 
citizens to debase mem by spirituous liquors, and cheat 
mem out of their property : We make war upon them 
without any adequate cause — pursue them without mercy 
—and put them to death, without regard to age, sex or 
condition : And, then deliberately proclaim to the world, 
that they are savages — cruel and untameable— degraded 

\ and faithless. 

If the present volume shall, in any degree, contribute 

to awaken the public mind to a sense of the wrongs Jn- 

v dieted upon the Indians, and to arouse the Christian 

statesmen of this land, to the adoption of a more liberal, 

upright and benevolent course of policy towards them, 


something will have been gained to the cause of ho 
inanity and of national honor. 

The author takes this opportunity of acknowledging 
his obligations to James Hall, Esq., for the valuable as- 
sistance received from him, in the preparation of this 
volume. In collecting the materials for that magnificent 
work, on which he is now engaged, " The History of 
the Indians of North America, 9 ' this gentleman has be- 
come possessed of much interesting matter, in regard to 
the Sacs anrf Foxes, and especially the chief Keokuk ; 
to all of which he has kindly permitted the author to 
have access. 

Cincinnati, May, 1S3S. 

C0NTENT8. 11 


General Atkinson overtakes Black Hawk—Battle of the Bad Axe- 
Atkinson's official report— Incidents of the Battle— Capture of 
Black Hawk and the prophet — Naopope's statement to General Scott 
— General Scott and Governor Reynolds conclude a treaty with the 
Sacs, Foxes and Winnebegoes— Causes which led t\ the war— Mo- 
tires for getting up Indian wars— First attack made by the Illinois 
militia — Report of the Secretary at War in regard to this campaign 
—General Macomb's letter to General Atkinson — Secretary Cass* 
Statement of the causes which led to this war— Comments upon this 
statement, and its omissions pointed out ••••-••• 156 


Black Hawk, Naopope, the Prophet and others confined at Jefferson 
Barracks— In April 1833 sent to Washington — Interview with the 
President— sent to Fortress Monroe— Their release — Visit the east- 
ern cities — Return to the Mississippi — Conference at Roc*- island be- 
tween Maj. Garland, Keokuk, Black Hawk and other chiefs— speech- 
es of Keokuk, Pashshepaho and Black Hawk — Final discharge of the 
hostages — Their return to their families — Black Hawk's visit to Wash- 
ington in 1837 — His return — His personal appearance — Military tal- 
ents — Intellectual and moral character .-.••-•-. 189 

Appendix— Sketches of the Sioux •••• 222 

Colonization of the Indians -•-«--.-• 228 
Indian Dancing Ceremonies -.-••«--•• 237 
Sale of Whiskey to the Indians ....•••.245 

Imwx - - # 428 


..-v^ .... 

:-ii! f; ;•- •#*• 

• ■:■ A' 


- ^ OP THE 





Origin of toe Sac and Fox Indians— Removal to Green Bay — Their 
subjugation of the Illini confederacy — Their attack upon St. Lotris 
in 1779 — Col: George Rogers Clark relieves the town — Governor 

. Harrison's letter— Maj. Forsyth's account of the conquest pf the 
Illini— Peath of the Sac chief Pontiac^-Sac and Fox village" on 
Rock river— Description of the surrounding country— -Civil polity 
- o{ the Sacs and Foxes— -Legend about their chiefs — Division of 
the tribes into families — Mode of burying their dead — Idea of a fu- 
ture state— rThefr account of the creation of th* world — Marriages — 
Social relations — Musfc and musical instruments— Pike's visit 4o 
them in 1805 — Population — Character for courage. < 

The word Saukee, or O-sau-kee, now written 
Sauk or more commonly Sac, is derivedfrom a com 
pound in the Algonquin or Chippeway language, 
Rrsaw?we-k6e, which means" yellow ^arth." Mus- 
-qiia-kee t the name of the Fox Indians, signifies 
"ired earth." These two tribes have long resided 
together, and now constitute one people, although 
there are some internal regulations among them 
which tend to preserve a distinctive name and lin- 
eage. The chiefs, on eeremomai occasions, claim 
B 13 


to be representatives of independent tribes, b*t this 
distinction is nominal. For many years past the 
principal chief of the Sacs, has been, in fact, the chief 
of the Foxes likewise. They are united in peace and 
war, speak the same language, claim the same ter- 
ritory,tavfe similar manners and cu&dtnte, afcd possese 
traditions which represent them as descended from 
the one common origin— the great Chippeway nation. 
Both tribes originally resided upon the waters 
of the St. Lawrence. The Foxes removed first to 
the west, and established themselves in the region 
Df Green Bay. Upon a river bearing their name, 
which empties into the head of this Bay, they suf- 
fered a signal defeat by a combined body of French 
and Indians, at a place, since known as La Butte 
de Mort, or the Hill of the Dead.* Subsequently 
to this battle, they were joined by the Sacs, who 
having become involved in a war with the Iroquois 
or Six Nations, were also driven to the westward. 
They found their relatives, the Foxes, upon Green 
Bay, but so far reduced in numbers, by the attacks 
of other tribes, that they were no longer able to 
sustain themselves as an independent people. The 
station between these two tribes, which then took 
place, and continues to this day, was as much a 
matter of necessity as of feeling. The period of 
their migration from the St. Lawrence to the upper 
Lakes cannot be satisfactorily ascertained. La 
Hontan speaks of a Sac village on Fox river, as 
early as 1689; and Father Hennepin, in 1680, 
* ' '■'■■' * ■ ■ ' ■ x "' • ' , — - . i i ^ . i i . 


mentions the Ontagamiea or Fox Indians, ad res- 
idents on the bay of Puarits, now Green Bay. 
- From this place, thfe Sauks and Foxes, crossed 
over to the eastern bank of the Mississippi, and 
combining with other tribes, began to act on the of- 
fensive. The period of this irruption from the 
north, it is not easy to determine. Major Thomas 
Forsyth, who resided for near twenty years among 
the Sauks and Foxes, in a manuscript account of 
those tribes, now before us, says : 

"More than a century ago, all the country, com- 
mencing above Rock river, and running down the 
Mississippi to the mouth of the Ohio, up that 
river to the mouth of the Wabash, thence up. 
that river to Fort Wayne, thence down the Mi- 
ami of the Lake some distance, thence north to 
the St. Joseph's and Chicago; also the country 
lying south of the Des Moines, do^yn perhaps, to the 
Mississippi, was inhabited by a numerous nation of 
Indians, who called themselves Linneway, and 
were called by others, Minneway, signifying "men/* 
This great nation was divided into several bauds, 
and inhabited different parts of this extensive re*- 
gion, as follows : The Michigamies* the country 
south of the Dds Moines; the Cohakks that east of 
the present village of Cohokrn in Illinois; the Kas* 
kaskias that east of the town 6f fhafc natae; the 
Tamarbis had theft village nearly centtal between 
Cahokia and Kaskaskia; the F&nfeeSfaaWS toes** 
Vineennes; the Weasup the Wabash; the Miamies 
on the head waters of the Miajni of the Lakes, oa 
St. Joseph's river and at Chicago. The IHaftbe- 


shaws, Weas and ]Mi^mies, must at this : time have 
hunted south towards and. on the Ohio. The'Peo- 
rjas, anoraer band of the same nation, lived and 
hunted on the JUinpis rive*: The Mascos or Mas- 
CQirtins, called by the French gens des prairies, 
lived and hunted on the great prairies, between the 
Wabash and Illinois rivers. All these different 
bands of the Minne way nation, spoke the language 
of the present Miamies, and the whole considered 
themselves as one and the same people; yet from 
their ^ocal situation,, and having no standard to go 
by, their language became broken up into different 
(Jialects. These Indians, the Minneways, were at? 
tacked by a general confederacy of other nations, 
siyh as the. Sauks and Foxes, resident at Green 
Bay . aud on the Ouisconsin ; the Sioux, whose 
frontiers extended south to, the river des Moines; 
the Chippeways, Otto way^ and Potawatimies from 
the lakes, and also the Cherokees and Choctaws 
from the south. The war continued for a great 
piany years and until that great nation the Minne- 
ways were destroyed, except a few Miamies and 
Weas on the Wabash, and a few. who are spattered 
among strangers. Of the Kaskasjrias, owing to 
their wars and their fondness for- sgiritous liquors, 
there jrow (1326) remain but thirty or forty souls; 
•w-of the Peorias near St. Genevieve ten or fifteen ; 
of the Piankeshaws forty or fifty. The Miamies 
lure the most numerous; a few years ago they con- 
sisted of about four liujidred sp\% There, do no* 
exist at Jhe present day (1326) more than five hun 
dred souls of the once great ancj .powerful Mmne 

^y -fcrflffint ttfttioti." Hi«« Iriai«pisyitbe*Miirt6. 
-1*#y§/ ; fa*e sttid to have b£$ni<v$*y crtfei -to-thfett 
prisoners, not unfrequently burning them. I ftavfe 
IteAtf'bf^&fftafti faittjy-'achiong the* MiamiesTtirho 
'^refc ' (MlteA 'tote^fctew; as they \*end acctstomed 
formate ft 'fetet'"6f Human flesh tHien a pfrrawner 
'wasUSfled. 1 For these ^tomities, the Sauksi«aM 
Foxes* isftiSh they took atfytff the Minneirays pris- 
-bnei's, gave fhtelri up to their womfen to be fcufFeted 
ttf'ddrth. ' : They speak also' of th&'MascorituMJwith 
abhorrettfefe, on Afcbotrfit *of theirs oHi'dlties;: Thte 
^Sfeufcs and Foxes have a historical legend of a severe 
battle' iha^rm^'bfeeiifotight opposite the mouth oC 
the Iowa river, abottt fifty or ehtiy miles above 'thfe 
T&iifii of ^Seriveh The Sciuks arid -Foxcte^de- 
^Mfended'-th^'Ms^i^ippi in canoed, aM&ttdkig r it 
^^cerabb^de&ttbed, started east, tdvafrds the 
ASMyithey ftad hdt gone far beftfre they werfe 
at&fc»$d : tfy» a pfettty itf - ttfc" MascofctiiitM The. bottle 
^ftnuefl iiearly^Il da^, the Baiikfe a^ !Fo*e^ *&r 
wirtt^f %iiodbariiiiti(m> finally ^V^ ^ay and-fled fe 
tt&ir t&iii&s: Ihe' J^acohtins pittsrf^'th&n and 
IBWigfit 'deSpetdtely; ; dfnd left -but ptfctf4i4 Saufas 
^Sid^FSxes ~to'<&rtry kbtote ftrt sforf' of fKeif defeat 
£<^'forty : (Hr fiftf yefe ago, 1*fe Batiks attd'FbXefe 
^MckeSi a srtf&t vffiiigfc'of *Pfec»iadl aBdul k mile 
■flfcteW -9e. } i;dttfe : akd r to^e thefe dfcfeafed At a 
^fece oft the Wmois rivfer/edlled Littte flofefc, thke 
ifreite : formerly ftffled'M th£€hippe^rays and Ottb- 
^^^a'i^nVetxk men, wcrmeft^d children of tfte 
A^^Ay f W.tiqrv.j. In^^^.^Qkap $Q*,j»flae a 
great slaughter of the Kaskaskia Indian** r^The 
b 2 


Main-Pogue, or Potawatimie juggler, in 1801, kill- 
ed a great many of the Piaukeshaws on the W*- 

The land on which St Louis stands, as well m 
the surrounding country, was claimed by the Illini 
confederacy, which had acquiesced in the intrusion 
of the whites. This, circumstance, it is supposed, 
Jed the northern confederacy to the attempt, which 
they made in 1779, to destroy the village of St 
Louis, then occupied by the Spaniards. As the 
Sacs and Foxes were active participators in this 
attack, no apology is necessary for introducing the 
following graphic account of it, from the pen of 
Wilson Primm, Esqr. of St Louis.* 

« In the mean time numerous bands of the In- 
dians living on the lakes and the Mississippi — the 
Ojibeways, Menomonies, Winnebagoes, Sioux, 
Sacs, &c together with a large number of Cana- 
dians, amounting in all to upwards of fourteen hun- 
dred, had assembled on the .eastern shore of the 
Mississippi, a little above St Louis* awaiting the 
sixth of May, the day fixed for the attack. The 
fifth of May was the feast of Corpus Christi, a day 
highly venerated by the inhabitants, who yrere all 
Catholics. Had the assault taken place then* it 
would have been fetal to them, for, after divine 
service, aU the men, women and children had flock- 
ed to the prairie to gather strawberries, which weare 
that season very abundant and fine* The town be- 
ing left perfectly unguarded, could have been taken 



with ease, and the unsuspecting inhabitants, who 
were roaming about in search of fruit, have been 
massacred without resistance* Fortunately, how* 
ever, a few only of the enemy had crossed the 
river and ambushed themselves in the prairie. The 
villagers, frequently eame so near them, in the 
course of the day, that the Indians from their places 
of concealment, could have reached them with their 
hands. But they knew not how many of the whites 
were still remaining in the town, and in the ab- 
sence of their co-adjutors, feared to attack, lest their 
preconcerted plan might be defeated. 

On the sixth, the main body of the Indians cross- 
ed, and marched directly towards the fields, ex* 
pecting to find the greater part of the villagers 
there; but ia this they Were disappointed, a few 
only havMg gone out to view their crops. These 
perceived the approach of the savage foe, and im- 
mediately commenced a retreat towards the town, 
the most of them taking the road that led to the up- 
per gate, nearly through the mass of Indians, and 
followed by a shower of bullets. The firing alarm- 
ed thote who Were in town, and the cry " to arms! to 
artus!" was heard in every direction. They rushed 
towards the works -and threw open the gates to 
their brethren. The Indians advanced slowly bat 
steadily towards the town, and the inhabitants, 
though almost deprived of hope, by the vast supe- 
riority in number of the assailants, determined to 
defend themselves to the last 

"In expectation of an attack, Silvio Francisco 
CartabonA, & governmental officer, had gone to St. 

Oft , iMi.|p«.q^Mfc l |uwff. 

Gte^y*<eve\;f<WF ^coipjpw^^.fliiliiia \t# aid irt de^ 
fending, thfe. 4own> in: ca^o^ t necessity, ^d had p£ 
the beginning* of Jthe month .? ejuraieji t7 witjj., si^ty, 
naen- «who we»e quartered oo, the citizens. • As spon, 
as 'the attack co!»^e&<#dj^wever, neither, .Carta- 
bona nor. his mett.could be, seen,, Either throwgh 
fear or treachery^they jcpnoeal^d thegisplyflSjin a,gaj* 
ret^and there remained uatU^efcdians hadretired^ 
The assailed bemg .^epuivGd of a po^siderable force., 
by this shame&l defection, were still, resolute and 
determined^: About fifteen men were, ^posted ,at 
each gate; the. jrest were scattered along, 
defence > in ftte most advantageous manner. x ■ . . . 

- " Whefc within a proper distance^ the, Ipdia^s ber 
gan, att irregular, fire, -which was wsw^red with 
A^wers of grapp- shot from the artillery. r The fir* 
ingj jjbr a while,- was wann;-but the Indians per 
ceived that aU their efforts would be ineffectual, on 
account of the intrenchmentSj and deterred . by the 
cannon, to which they were nnapcu^tomed, from 
making a nearer approach^uffered their , r seal to 
abate,, and deJifcerately. 3Petired v At this stage of 
affairs, the lieutenant, peovompr xpa&Q , 14 s .appear, 
hnca?. ajhefir^.intimsation tha^he jrecfiyeg of what 
was-goipg/C^was fcy.t&e dj^d^g^of art^leiy^on 
Ate part of the inhabitant*, fie ^ipmedi^^^pi^eir 
t ed several pi^s;<tf 1 xafi#o&, whici^erp posted, in 
fi*nt of th$ government house, tot ie.^ik^d.a.n^ 
filled wMhj aapd* qiujL wentj ox .rather* ^a^s rolled in 
a wheelbarrow, to the ; scen£ ; q£ ycftoiL In ^.very 
* peremptory: tone* he, commanded, tfre inhatttajprta to 
oeaae.firjmg, and* «tur^ :i tq ll tbetf ^qus^. jTbpsp 

SAC. AJU> £0£ INDIA^ 21 

pasted a£ the loyer g?tfe, : did, not. receive the order, 
and- consequently kept their, stations. ,. The con}- 
jpandp-nt perQeiyjed this, and ordered, a cannon to J>e 
fired at- th^m. They had barely time Jo throw 
themselves o£ tye ground, when the volley passed 
oyer them r and struck the wall, tearing a great part 
qf it down. ..These proceedings, as wjell as the 
whole tenor of his conduct, -since the first rumor 
of an attack, kave rise to. suspicions very unfavor- 
able to. the lieutenant Governor. It was bruited 
aljout, that, he was the. cause of, the attacks 
that ne was connected with the British, and that 
•fie had been bribed into a dereliction, of duty, 
jyhicti, had not providence averted, would have 
doomed them to destruction. ; Under pretext of 
'proving to thenx- that there was no danger of an at. 
C^ck, h§ had a few days before it occurred, sold tg 
t}ie traders, all the ammunition belonging to the 
government; and they would have been left per- 
fectly destitute and defenceless, had they not found, 
in, a private house, eight barrels of powder, belong- 
ing to a trader, which they seized in the namcj.of 
the King, upon, the, jirpt alarm. Colone^ George 
Rogers Clark, who was at this time at Kaskaskia, 
with a few men. under his cQmmand, : understanding 
that an attack was ; meditated on the town, offered 
all the assistance , in his power, to aid in: the defence. 
This offer was rejected by the Lieutenent Governor. 
All these circumstances gave birth to a strong aver- 
sion to the commajidant, which evinces itself,, at 
this day, in execrations of his character, whenever 
his n$me : is mentioned to those wfto have known 


him. Representations of his conduct, together with 
a detailed account of the attack, were sent to New 
Orleans by a special messenger, and the result wa* 
that the Governor General appointed Mr. Francisco 
Cruzat, to the office of Lieutenant Governor. 

<^As soon as it was ascertained that the Indians 
had retired from the neighborhood, the inhabitants 
proceeded to gather the dead, that lay scattered in 
all parts of the prairie. Seven were at first found 
and buried in one grave. Ten or twelve others, in 
the course of a fortnight, were discovered in the 
long grass that bordered the marshes. The acts of 
the Indians were accompanied by their characteris- 
tic ferocity. Some of their victims were horribly 
mangled. With the exception of one individual, 
the whites who accompanied the Indians, did not 
take part in the butcheries that were committed. A 
young man by the name of Calve, was found dead, 
his skull split open, and a tomahawk, on the blade 
of which was written the word Calve, sticking in 
his brain. He was supposed to have fallen by the 
hand of his uncle. Had those who discovered the 
Indians in the prairie, fled to the lower gate, they 
would have escaped; but the greater part of them 
took the road that led to the upper gate, through 
the very ranks of the enemy, and were thus expos- 
ed to the whole of their fire. About twenty per- 
sons, it is computed, met their death in endeavor- 
ing to get within the entrenchments. None of those 
within were injured, and none of the Indians were 
killed, at least none of them were found. Their 
object was not plunder, for they did not attempt, in 

sact awd vox nmitiB. 33 

their tetreat, to lake away with them any of the 
cattle or the horses that were in the prairie, and 
that they might hare taken; nor did they attack 
any of the neighboring towns* where danger 
wotdd hare been less, and the prospect of success 
greater. The only object they had in view was 
the destruction of St Louis; and this would seem 
to fevor the idea that they were instigated by the 
English, and gives good ground, when connected 
with other circumstances, to believe that Leyba was 
their aider and abettor. ■• * * * 

« A Mr. Chancellier had gone on the day of attack, 
to the' prairie for strawberries, with his wife, two 
daughters arid an American, the first that had evef 
been in the country, in a cart drawn by two horses. 
When they perceived the Indians, they immediate- 
ly fled towards the town in the cart; Mr. Chancel- 
lier being seated before, and the American behind, 
in order to protect the women, who were in the 
middle. In their flight the American was mortally 
wounded. As he was falling out, Mr. Chancellier 
seized him and threw him into the midst of the wo- 
men, exclaiming, « they shan't get the scalp of my 
American* 99 He was at the same time struck by 
two balls, which broke his arm in as many places, 
above the elbow. His wife received a bullet 
through the middle of her hand, the elder daugh- 
ter was shot through the shoulder, immediately 
above the breast, and the younger was struck on 
the fdtehead, but the ball glanced aside and merely 
stunned her. The moment Mr. Chancellier arrived 

particip^ioiiiiiiitbis agftir^jlM a^tt^j^eg^ajfc 

t^^i^i^iWilUa^^k^fjSti X^o^s,. who, ,i£ $ 
p*esuined v has (^$$e^&©ft of .bis fatf^r'9 )f pffia&Jf ja* 
lHW,it : instated, in xefi^ajipMp fcifti ^t^^.tto^j?!? 
though the Spanish Goremoi; ^mads.^ 
Relieve tksA anu atjacki^a* .inteAde4,,-tfifJ pjiqcipal 
iptobjfcotfs jsentover aaie^press^t^./C^mBl, Clark* 
vho> w& liken aft Ka^asl^ : >ritfc ?fi\^h##d£e$ 
men* 40 .come and p»o&p$ >&eip, • :.S e ,ac^rdingl$l 
maiftfrgd his . force up. . Ojupq^tp ,thfr, jtpwn apd -„ejpf 
c|ij»$ed a Uttfe distance froi» the ifae*;.-. IJe d#Liio4[ 
s$$4«ovey aay troopejbut vasr^ da §>>,, in. case, pi'; 
ajfc-attaokjwwhen it..;wa0 aqljuaUy^ade Cpjon^ 
Cfeyrk crossed' the rivjer * and, Wo& seeing Jthe <f flojig 
kntores,??^ t^Jpdians/oalledihis, they ^ti- 
ly.ietse&Lted,. bayii^ldU^^Ye^y^vrpi Ofrwvejity, 
tbr^eicrf. the Spaoiayd% fte&rs bis aTOYak , .JThis.suj^, 
dim apqpwra*tffi o£ Colonel CM^u^on th^ 
a^tio^ejqpiaiistb^ Qwdu^toJfihe.Ifl4iw^.,^plaj:»a 
at body if jj¥a*rio*s, ftjajpnglft. pre#H#artQf} { atta$&, 
upon a, tQWtt. but badly (prp^e^fejy^uW :jip*, ,it : iff 
tjppiftght, . have. . gj.ywf.up .tbe.'s^ujjt jbqi si$fei%, 
and ^before, they had lost » a-.^ingle map, , i*#}esg 
aJ^umedNby the,. presence of a. s^p^qf force* * Qn 
the. supposition that Qelone},.C^i^f?ctu^y»q:p 1 ?^ 
the river with his troops, the flight of the Indians 

•«? amU rot iiiDiAirr. 25 

is easily explained. They were probably apprised 
, of Cokmel ' Clark's being at Kaskasfeia, and bis 
name wad every where a terror to the Indians. As 
an evidence of this, a' short time afterwards, he sent 
a detachment of one hundred and fifty men, as far 
up thecountry as Prairie des Chiens, and from thence 
across RoGk and Illinois rivers and down to Kaskas- 
kia, meeting with no molestation from the Indians, 
who were struck with terror at the boldness of the 
enterprise, saying that if so few dared to come, 
they * would fight like devils." 

General William H. Harrison, long familiar with 
the North West Indians, in an official letter to the 
secretary at War, dated H. Q. Cincinnati, March 
22&, 1814, giving an able view of the Indian tribes, 
makes the following remarks on the descent of 
this northern confederacy, upon the great Illini 

«The Miamies have their principal settlements 
on the forks of the Wabash, thirty miles from fort 
Wayne; and at Mississineway, thirty miles lower 
down. A band of them, under the name of Weas, 
have resided on the Wabash, sixty miles above 
Vincennes; and another under the Turtle, on Eel 
river, a branch of the Wabash, twenty mites north 
west of Fqjrt Wayne. By an artifice of the Little 
Turtle, these three bands were passed on General 
Wayne as distinct tribes, and an annuity was gran- 
ted to each. The Eel river and Weas however to 
this day call themselves Miamies, and are recog- 
nized as such by the Mississineway band. The 
Jtfaumees, or Tewicktoviea are the un- 
2 C 

36 KF* <» MJfcC* HAWK, 

doubted proprietors of all that beautiful country 
which is watered by the Wabash and its branches? 
and there is as little doubt, that their claim exten- 
ded as far east as Jthe Sciota. They have no tradi- 
tion of removing from any other quarter of the 
country; whereas all the neighboring tribes, the 
Piankeshaws excepted, who are a branch of the 
Miamies, are either intruders upon them, or have 
been permitted to settle in their country. The Wy- 
andots emigrated first from Lake Ontario and 
subsequently from lake Huron, the Delawares from 
Pennsylvania and Maryland, the Shawanies from 
Georgia, the Kickapoos and Potawatamies from the 
country between lake -Michigan and the Missis- 
sippi, and the Ottawas and Chippeways, from the 
peninsula formed by lakes Michigan, Huron and 
St Clair, and the strait connecting the latter with 
Erie. The claims of the Miamies were bounded 
on the north and west by those of the Illinois con- 
federacy, consisting originally of five tribes, called 
Kaskaskias, Cahokias, Peorians, Miehiganians, and 
Temorias speaking the Miami language, and no 
doubt branches of that nation* 

"When I was first appointed governor of Indi 
ana Territory, those once powerful tribes were re 
duced to about thirty warriors, of whom twenty 
fivo were Kaskaskias, four Peorians, and a singte 
Michiganian. There was an individual lately 
alive at St Louis, who saw the enumeration of 
them made by the Jesuits in 1745, making the 
aumber of their warriors four thousand. A furi- 
ous war between diem and the Sacs and Kkkapooa 

9M A**, w iwuiNf 3? 

reduced them to J|hat uaiserable remnant, which had 
takea refuge amongst the white people of K^skaa- 
kia and St Genevieve*. The Kkkapoos had fixed 
their principal village at Peoria, upon the south 
bank of the Illinois river, whilst the Sacks remain* 
ed masters of the country to the north." 

These historical facts are interesting, as showing 
the. manner in which the Sauks and Foxes obtain* 
ed possession of the fertile plains of Illinois; and, 
as adding another to the many instances on refcord, 
in which hordes of northern invaders have overrun 
and subjugated the people of more southern re- 
gions. The causes are obvious for this descent of 
the Sauks and Foxes, upon their southern neigh* 
bors. They reached a more genial climate, a 
country where game was more abundant than, in 
the region they left behind, and in which they 
could, with greater focihty, raise their corn, beans 
and pumpkins. Other causes than these might 
have had their influence. The Illini confederacy 
may have provoked the descent of the northern # 
tribes upon them. On this point, Lieutenant. Pike 
in his travels to the sources of the Mississippi, 
has the. following remark. 

: "By killing the celebrated Sauk chief, Pontiac, 
the Illinois, Cahokias, Kaskaskia* and Peorias, 
kindled a wax. with the allied nations of the Sauks 
Mid Reynards* which has been the cause of , the at. 
most entire destruction of the former nations." 

The death of Pontiac may have, been the im* 
mediate exciting cause of the war, but it is more 
than probable that the love of conquest and the hope 

98 Ufl *t WLACX Xlff. 

of obtaining a more fruitful and genial country, 
than is to be found upon the shore erf the lake*, 
were the principal reasons which impe|led the 
northern confederacy to the subjugation of the 

The principal village of the Sacs and Foxes, for a 
long period of time, was on the north side of Rock 
river, near its junction with the Mississippi. It con* 
tained at one time upwards of sixty lodges, and was 
among the largest and most populous Indian villages 
oil the continent. The country around it is fertile and 
picturesque, finely watered, and studded with groves 
and prairies. It is described in the following gnu 
phic manner, by a gentleman 11 who travelled over 
it in 1839. 

« The Mississippi, which below its junction with 
the Missouri, is a troubled stream, meandering 
through low grounds, and margined by muddy 
banks, is here a clear and rapid river, flowing over 
beds of rock and gravel, and bordered by the most 
1 lovely shores. Nothing of the kind can be more 
attractive, than the scenery at the upper rapids. On 
the western shore, a series of slopes .are seen, com- 
mencing at the gravelly margin of the water, and 
rising one above another, with a barely perceptible 
acclivity, for a considerable distance, until the back 
ground is terminated by a chain of beautifully 
rounded hills, over which trees are thinly scattered, 
as if planted to embellish the scene. This is the 
singular charm of prairie scenery. Although it is 


SA0<AK*F02 mmw* M 

a wilderness, just as nature made it, the verdant car? 
pet, the gracefully waving outline of the surface, 
the clumps and groves and scattered trees, give it 
the appearance of a noble park, boundless in extent, 
and adotned with exquisite taste. It ia a wild but 
not a savage wild, that awes by its gloom. It is a 
, gay and cheerful wilderness, winning by its social 
aspect as well as its variety and intrinsic graceful* 
ness. The eastern shore is not less beautiful: s 
broad flat plain of rich alluvion, extending from the* 
water's edge, is terminated by a range of wooded 
hiUs* A small collection of the lodges of the 
Saukies aftd Foxes stood on this plain when the 
writer last saw it, but their chief village was about 
three miles distant In the front of the landscape, 
and presenting its most prominent feature, is Rock 
Island, on the southern point of which, elevated up* 
on a parapet of rock, is Fort Armstrong. The 
region around is- healthy and amazingly fruitful 
The grape, the plum, the gooseberry and various 
other native fruits abound,— <the wild honeysuckle 
gives its perfume to the air, and a thousand indige- 
nous flowers mingle their diversified hues with the 
verdure of the plain. But all this fertility of soil 
and scenic beauty has produced no ameliorating 
effect upon the savages. The Sanies of Illinois, 
when first visited by the French missionaries were 
as they axe how. They are still savages,4ts much 
so a* the Osages, Comanches and Seminoles, and 
not superior to the wandering Chippeways/* 

The civil polity of these two tribes bears jmwfa 
resemblance to that of the north western Indians 
c 2 


generally. The peace chiefe are partly elective and 
parity hereditary. The son succeeds the father by 
the assent of the tribe, if worthy of the office, and 
if not, a successor,- of a more meritorious character, 
is chosen by them from some collateral branch of 
the family. There is a legend among them relating 
to the relative rank of their chiefe, which, although , 
perhaps purely figurative, may not be uninteresting 
to the reader. They say that a great while ago; 
their fathers had a long lodge, in the centre of which 
were ranged four fires. By the first fire stood two 
chiefe, one on the right, who was called the great 
Bear, ancLone on the left, called the little Bear: these 
were the village or peace chiefe: they were the 
rulers of the band, and held the authority corres- 
ponding to that of the chief magistrate. At the 
second fire stood two chiefs: one on the right, called 
the great Fox, and one on the left, called the little 
Vox: these were the war chiefe or generals. At the 
third fire stood two^warriors, who were called re- 
spectively the Wolf and the Owl. And at the other 
fire, two Others who were the Eagle and the 
Tortoise. These four last named were not chiefe 
but braves of distinction, who held honorable places 
in the council, and were persons of influence in 
peace and in war. This lodge of four fixes. may 
have existed among these tribes. It is true that 
their chiefe remain as described in the legend. 

The peaoe chief or head-man presides in council, 
and all important public acts are dono in his name; 
but unless he be a man of popular talents and great 
energy of character his place confers more of honor 


than power. If a weak or irresolute man, although 
he nominally retain his authority, the war chiefs 
actually exercise it. It is very seldom that he ac- 
quires property, for he is expected to make feasts 
_and presents, and is compelled to be hospitable and 
liberal as a - means of sustaining his power among 
his people. 

The office of war chief is never hereditary, but 
results from skill and intrepidity in battle, and is 
held so long as those qualities are successfully re- 
tained. It may readily be conceived that among 
such a race the war chiefs, having the braves 
and young men of the nation under their com- 
mand, Would generally maintain a controling in- 
fluence. The leading war chief is always bet- 
ter known than the principal peace chief, is often 
confounded with him, and still oftener exercises 
his authority. 

The Sauks are, at the present time, divided into 
twelve families, and the Foxes into eight, each 
known by the name of some animal. Among the 
Sauks there is another division peculiar to it. The 
males are all classed in two parties or bands— one 
called Kish-ko-guis, or long hairs; the other Osh- 
cushis or braves, the former being Considered 
something more than brave. In 1819 each party 
numbered about four hundred members, and in 1826, 
the number was increased to five hundred in each. 
The standard of the Kish-ko-guis or long hairs, is 
red> and that of the Osh-cushis or braves, blue. 
Every male child, soon after its birth, is marked 
with white or blaek paint, and is classed in oae of 


these two parties, the mother being uareful to ap- 
ply the two colors alternately, so that if the num- 
ber of males in a family be even, each, band will 
receive an equal number of members, and the 
whole nation will thus be nearly equally divid&l 
into the two colors of black and white. These 
distinctive marks are permanently retained through 
life, and in painting themselves for any ceremonies 
or public occasions, those of one party use white, 
the others black paint, in addition to other colors 
which may suit their fancy. The reason of this 
singular custom is for the purpose of creating and 
keeping alive a spirit of emulation in the tribe. In 
their games, sham-battles and other pastimes, the 
whites and blacks are opposed to each other; and 
in war, each party is ambitious of bringing home a 
greater number of scalps than the other. 

The chiefs have the management of public 
affairs, but as we have ajready seen are more or 
less influenced, especially in matters of war or 
peace, by the braves. In their councils, questions 
are not considered, generally, as decided, unless 
there be unanimity of opinion. Their laws are 
few and simple. Debts are but seldom contracted 
by them, and there is no mode of enforcing their 
collection. For redress of. civil injuries, an appeal 
is usually made to some of the old men of the tribe, 
mutually selected by the parties concerned; and 
their decision is considered as binding. A murder 
among them is seldom punished capitally. The re- 
latives of the deceased may take revenge in that 
way) but it is much more, common to receive com- 

0*0;H!9 JTOK UfDUJI* » 

pensataoa in property. If the relatives cannot agree 
Upon the amount of the •compensation, the old men 
of the tribe interfere and settle it. The kinsfolk 
of the deceased say, that by killing the murderer, it 
will not bring the dead to life, and that it is better 
co take die customary presents, which often amount 
in value to a considerable sum. Occasionally the 
murderer arranges the whole matter, by marrying 
the- widow of the man he has killed. There is 
hut one offence that is considered of a national 
character, and that is of rare occurrence. It con* 
sists in aiding the enemies of the tribe, in times 
of war, and is punishable whh death. A sentinel 
who has been placed on duty by a chief* but wh6 
neglects it, is publicly whipped by the women. The* 
Sauks and Foxes have no established mode of de- 
claring war. If injured by a neighboring tribe' they 
wait a reasonable time for reparation to be made, 
Mid if it i& not, they avail themselves of the first 
fitting opportunity of taking revenge. The young 
Indians manifest, at an early age, a love of war. 
They hear the old warriors recounting their exploits, 
and as the battle-field i* the only road to distinc- 
tion, they embrace the first chance of killing an 
enemy. Whfen the question of going to war is un- 
der consideration, some one or a number of them, 
undertake to consult the Great Spirit by fasting and 
dreams. . These latter are related by them in puK 
He, and often have their influence, being generally 
so interpreted as to inspire confidence^ those who 
may join the war party. If a party is victorious in 
bottle, the individual who kilted the first enemy ♦ 

"M lots or SLACK HAWK. 

^ leads litem back, said on the way, if they hav« 
prisoners with, them/ it is not uncommon to kill 
those who are old. The young ones are generally 
adopted into the families of such as hare lost rela# 
tires in the battle, or whose children have died a 
natural death. Upon the return of the victorious 
party to their village, a war dance is held round 
their captives by way of celebrating their triumph. 
Prisoners are sometimes held as slaves, and as such 
are bought and sold. If they go to war, which 
they are encouraged to do, and succeed in killing 
one of the enemy, the slave changes his name and 
from that time becomes a freeman. The Sauks and 
Foxes treat their prisoners with humanity, and if 
4bey succeed in getting to the village alive, they are 
safe, and their persons are held sacred. But one 
instance is known of their having burned a prison- 
er, and that was in a war with the Menominies, 
and in retaliation for a similar act, first committed 
by that tribe. The young Indians go to war gener- 
ally between the age of seventeen and twenty, but 
sometimes as early as fifteen. Many of them at ' 
the age of forty and forty-five, look old and are 
broken down in their physical constitution, m con- 
sequence of the hardships which they have endured 
in war and the chase. In old age they are usually 
provided for, and live in peace at their villages. 
When one of them is sick, and thinks he is about to 
go to thfr land of spirits, he not unfrequently directs 
the manner in which he wishes to be buried, and 

'his instructions are complied with. The Sauks and 
Foxes bury their dead in the ground, and have pre 

•AC *NI> fttX 1MIHAJX*. 85 

ference* for particular places of intennent. The 
graves are not dug to any great depth, and a little 
bark from a tree is made to answer the purpose of 
a coffin. The body is usually carried to the grave 
by old women, who howl at intervals, during the 
ceremony, most piteously. Before closing the 
grave, one of the Indians psesent at the funeral 
will wave a stick or war-club, called "puc-ca 
waw-gun," saying in an audible voice, "I have 
killed many men in war, and I give their spirits to 
my dead friend who lies here, to serve him as slaves 
in the other world:" after which the grave is filled 
up with earth, and in a day or two a rude cabin or 
shed is made over it of rough boards or bark. If 
the deceased was a brave, a post is planted at the 
head of the grave, on which, in a rude manner, the 
number of scalps and prisoners he has taken in 
war, is represented by red paint. Upon the death 
of an adult, his property is usually distributed 
among his relatives, and his widow returns to her 
own family or nearest kinfolks. The widow is the 
principal mourner for the deceased and her grief 
seems to be sincere. Her countenance becomes 
dejected — she seldom smiles — clothes herself in rags, 
and with disheveled hair and spots of black paint 
on her cheeks, wanders about in a pensive mood, 
seldom shedding tears, except when alone in the 
woods.. They generally cease mourning at the 
suggestion of some friend, wash, paint themselves 
red and put on their best clothes and ornaments. 
Some of the Sauks and Foxes entertain the opinion # 
th*t- the spirit of the deceased hovers' about the vil- 


3G lit* or buik mwi. 

lage or lodge, for a few days, and then takes its 
flight to the land of repose. On its way, they sup- 
pose it passes over an extensive prairie, beyond 
which the woods appear like a blue ^cloud. Be- 
tween this woodland and the prairie, there is a deep 
and rapid stream of water, across which there is a 
pole, kept in continual motion by the force of the 
current. This stream, the spirit must cross on the 
pole, and if it has belonged to a good person, it will 
get oyer safe and find all its good relations that 
have gone before it In this woodland, game of all 
kinds is abundant, and there the spirits of the good 
live in everlasting happiness. If on the contrary, 
the spirit has belonged to a bad or wicked person in 
this world, it will fall off the pole into the stream* 
and the current will sweep it down to the land of 
evil spirits, where it will forever remain in poverty 
ajjd misery. There is nothing very peculiar in the 
religious opinions of the Sauks and Foxes, to dis- 
tinguish them from the aborigines of this country, 
generally. They believe in one Great and Good 
Spirit, who controls and governs all things, and iu 
supernatural agents who are permitted to interfere 
in their concerns. They are of opinion that there 
is also a bad spirit, subordinate, however, to the 
great Manito, who is permitted to annoy and per- 
plex the Indians, by means of bad medicines, by 
poisonous reptiles, and by killing their horses and 
sinking their canoes. All their misfortunes are at* 
tributed tor the influence of this bad spirit, but they 
4 have some vague idea that it is in part permitted 
as a punishment for their bad deeds. They all ber 


lie? e in ghosts, and when they fancy that they 
have seen one, the friends of the deceased give a 
feast and hang up some clothing as an offering to 
appease the troubled spirit So for as the ceremo- 
nials qre concerned, the Sauks and Foxes may be 
called a religious people. They rarely pass any 
extraordinary cave, rock, hill or other object, wkh 
out tearing behind them some tobacco for the use 
of the spirit who they suppose lives there. They- 
have some kind of prayers, consisting of words 
which they sing over in the evening and at sun- 
rise in the morning. 

Their tradition in regard to the creation of the 
world, the deluge and the re-peopling of the earth,, 
is a singular mixture of truth and fiction. If an- 
terior in its origin, to the arrival of the whites on: 
this continent, it presents matter of curious specula- 
tion. The following account of it, entitled the Cos- 
mogony of the Saukee and Musquakee Indians, 
is taken from Doctor Galland's Chronicles of the 
North American Savages. 

" In the beginning the Gods created every living 
being which was intended to have life upon the 
face of the whole earth; and then were formed eve- 
Ty species of living animaL After this the gods also 
formed man, whom they perceived to be both cruel 
and foolish: they then put into man the heart of the., 
best beast they had created; but they beheld that 
man still continued cruel and foolish. After this it 
came to pass that the Almighty took a piece of 
himself, of which he made a heart for the man; < 
and when the man received it> he immediately 

38~ LlMl 4JHF BfcACK *AWtf « 

became wise above every other animal tm tb» 
earth. r 

* And it came t& pass in the process of much time, 
that the earth produced its first fruits in abundance^ 
and all thcrtiving beasts were greatly multiplied The 
earth about this time, was also inhabited by an innfr- 
merabie host of I-am-woi (giants) and gods. And tto* 
gods whose habitation is under the seas, made wat^ 
upon We-suk-kah, (the chief god upon the earth) 
and leagued themselves with the I-am-woi upoji* 
the earth, against him. Nevertheless, they were 
still afraid of We-suk-kah and his immense host of -' 
gods; therefore they called a council upon the 
earth; and when they were assembled upon the 
earth, at the council, both the I-am-woi alid thtf 
gods from under the seas, after much debate, and 
long consultation, they resolved to make a great 
feast upon the earth, and to invite We-suk-kah, that 
they might thus beguile him, and at the feast lay 
hands upon him and slay him. 

« And when the council had appointed a dele- 
gate to visit We-suk-kah, and commanded him to 
invite We-suk-kati to the great feast, which they 
were preparing upon the eatfth for him; behold, the 
younger brother of We-suk-kah, was in the midst 
of the council, and being confused in the whole as- 
sembly; they said unto him, ^ Where is thy brother 
We-suk-kah." And he answering said unto them 
"I know not; am I my brother's kcfeper ?" And 
the council perceiving that all their devices were 
known tinto him, they Were soreffy vexed; there-* 
fore, with erte accord, the whole assembly rtished 

•m m» id ffMim. tt 

violently upon him and dew him: and thus was 
item the younger brother of We-suk-ka& 

«No*r when We~suk-kah had heard of the 
death of his younger brother, he was extremely 
sorrowful and wept aloud; and the gods whose hab* 
itatkms are above the clouds, heard the voice of his 
fermentations, and they leagued with him to avenge 
the blood of his brother. At this time the lower 
gods had fled from the face of the earth, to their 
own habitations under the seas; and the I-am-woi 
Were thus forsaken, and left alone to defend them* 
tielves against We-suk-kah and his allies. 

* Now the scene of battle, where We-$uk-kah 
and his allies fought the I-am-woi, was in a flame of 
fire; and the whole race of the I-am-woi were de- 
stroyed with a great slaughter, that there was not 

• one left upon the face of the whole earth. And 
when the gods under the sea, knew the dreadftil 
fete of their allies, the I-am-woi, idiom they had 
deserted, they were sore afraid and they cried aloud 
to Na-ham-a-keh (god of thunder) to come to their 
assistance. And Na-nam-a-keh heard their cry and 
accepted their request, and sent his subaltern, No- 
tah-tes-se-ah, (gofl of the wind) to Pa-poan-a-tesse- 

4 ah, (god of the cold) to invite him to Come with all 
his dreadful host of frost, stiow, hail, ice and north- 
wind, to their relief. When this destroying army - 
eame from the north, they smote the whole earth 
with frosty converting the waters of every river, 
,ake, and sea into solid masses of ice, and covering 
the whole earth with an immense sheet of snow 
Mid haiL Thus perished all the first inhabitants 

40 i4*& Km *l*c* m*m* 

of the earth both men, beasts and gods, except a 
few choice ones of each kind, which We-suk-kah 
preserved with himself upon the earth. 

"And again it came to pass in the process of * 
long time, that the gods under the sea came fortfc 
again, upon the earth; and when they saw Wen«il&» 
kah, that he was almost alone on the earth, they 
rejoiced in assurance of being able to destroy him. 
But when they had exhausted every scheme,, at- 
tempted every plan,, and executed every effort to bo 
effect, perceiving that all their councils &nd designs 
were well known to We-sukJcah as soon as they 
were formed, they became mad with despair, and 
resolved to destroy We-suk T kah, by spoiling forever 
the whole face of the earth, which they so much 
desired to inhabit. To this end, therefore, they re- 
tired to their former habitations under the sea and • 
intreated Na-nam-a-keh (the god of thunder) te 
drown the whole earth with a flood. 

"And Na-nam-a-keh again hearkened to their 
cries, and calling all the clouds to gather themselves 
together, they obeyed his voice and came; and 
when all the clouds were assembled, he common 
ded them and they poured down water U PW &* 
earth, a tremendous torrent, until the whole surface » 
of the earth, even the tops of the highest moun* 
tains were covered with water. But it came to 
pass* when We-suk-kah saw the water coming up- 
3n the earth, he took some air, and made an o-pes- 
quie, (vessel, boat or shell) and getting into it him- 
sel, |ie took with him all sorts of living beasts, and 
man; and when the waters rose upon the earth the 

sac asm ros omm 41 

o-pes-quie was lifted up and 4oated upon the sur- 
face, until the tops of the highest moiftitains were 
eovered with the flood. And when the o-pes-quie 
had remained for a long time upon the surface of 
the flood, We-suk-kah called one of the animals* 
which was with him in the o-pes-quie, and com- 
manded it to go down through the water to the 
earth, to bring from thence some earth; and after 
many repeated efforts and with great difficulty, 
the animal at length returned, bringing in its mouth, 
some earth; of which, when We-suk-kah had recei- 
ved it, he formed this earth, and spread it forth 
upon the surface of the water; and went forth 
himself and all that were with him in the o-pes- 
quie, ancF occupied the dryland." 

In the social or family relations of the Sauks and 
Foxes, it ^considered the duty of the men to hunt 
and clothe their wires and children — to purchase 
arms and the implements of husbandry so far as 
thejf use them — to make canoes and assist in row- 
ing them— to hunt and drive their horses, make 
saddles, &c» &c. The duties of the women, are to 
skin the game when brought home and prepare the 
skins for market, to cook, to make the camp, cut 
and carry wood, make moccasins, plant and gather 
the corn, beans and pumpkins, and do all the drud- 
gery connected with the domestic affairs. It is the 
commonly received opinion among the whites that 
the female Indians are the slaves of their husbands. 
This is not literally true. The men seldom make 
their wives feel their authority: as a general rule 
among the Sauks and Foxes, they lire happily 16 


gather. The wives take the liberty of sooldmg their 
husbands, v&ry frequently, and it is considered by 
-both parties that every thing in the family, except 
the war and hunting implements, belongs to the 
wife, and she may do with it as she pleases. The 
men may each have two or three, or even more 
wives. They generally, prefer to take sisters, 'a* 
they agree better together in the same lodge: the 
eldest Usually regulates all the domestic affairs of 
the family and has charge of the property belong- 
ing to it The men turn off their wives and the 
latter leave their husbands whenever they become 
discontented. While living together, the. women 
are generally faithful to their husbands. Tlie 
daughters seldom leave their mothers until they 
are. married, which usually occurs when they are 
about fourteen or fifteen years of age* The parents 
of air Indian girl are generally conciliated by pres- 
ents from her lover, but they may insist upon servi- 
tude from him, which sometimes runs throughout 
one, two or three years. There is no particular 
marriage ceremony among them, beyond that of 
the contract between, the parents or parties. A 
young Sauk lover is represented as a silly looking 
fellow, who can neither eat, drink or sleep— he ap- 
pears to he geranged, and with all the pains he 
takes to conceal his passion, his malady is still ap- 
parent to his friends. The faithfulness of this sketch, 
wiH hardly *be questioned, when the close analogy 
.which it bears to a pale-faced lover, is recalled to 
mind. The Sauks and Foxes, when pinched with 
hunger, witt eat almost any kind of meat, but pre 

aius an* rok itrmAits. 43 

ft* venison tod bear's meat to all other; they never 
eat it Unless cooked. They make much use of corn, 
beans and pumpkins, and annually raise considerable 
quantities, They are not fond of fish and seldom 
eat them if they can procure other kinds of food. 

There aTe but three kinds of musical instruments 
used among these tribes. The drum, -which is beat 
at their feasts, dances and games, the tambourin, 
and a kind of flageolet, made of cane or two pieces 
of soft wood hollowed out and fastened together 
with strips of leather. Their times are always on a 
flat key, have but few variations and are mostly of 
a melancholy character. According to Mr. At- 
water, who visited those residing near Rock Island, 
in 1829, the Sacs and Poxes have " tunes evidently 
of Flench origin, and some songs of considerable 
length." " These Indians have among them, what 
answers to the Italian Improvisatori who make 
songs for particular occasions." The same writer 
says, "the Sauks and Foxes have a considerable 
number of songs, suited to a great many occasions 
in their own language." He further adds, « Among 
the. Indians of the Upper Mississippi, the Sauks and 
Foxes are decidedly the best actors, and have the 
greatest variety of plays among them." In com- 
mon with the Indian tribes generally, they have a 
variety of athletic games, in which both the men 
and women # join. They are addicted to cards and 
other games of chance, and often bet very high. 

Touching the condition of these tribes in 1805, 
Lieutenant Pike, in his travels to the s&tries of the 
Mississippi, says/ * Ifo first nation of Indians 

. 44 H» W HACK HAWK. 

whom we met wito, were the Sauks, who prison 
pally reside in four villages. The first at the head 
of the rapids des Moyens, on the west shore, contain 
ing thirteen lodges. The second on a prairie on the 
east shore about sixty miles above. The third, on 
the river De Roche [Rock river] about three miles 
from the entrance, and the last on die river Iowa. 
They hunt on the Mississippi and its confluent 
streams from the Illinois to the river Des Iowa; 
and on the plains west of them which border the 
Mississippi They are so perfectly consolidated 
with the Reynards (the Foies) that they can 
scarcely be termed a distinct nation; but recently 
there appears to be a schism between the two na- 
tions: the latter not approving of the insolence and 
ill-will, which has marked the conduct of the former 
towards the United States, on many late occur- 
rences. They have for many years past made war 
(under the auspices of the Sioux) on the Santeaux, 
Osages and Missouries; but as recently a peace has 
been . (through the influence of the United States) 
" made between them and the nations of the Missouri, 
and by thd same means between the Sioux arid 
the Santeaux (their principal allies) it appears it 
would be by no means a difficult matter to induce 
them to make a general peace, arid pay still greater 
attention to the cultivation of the earth: as they 
now raise a considerable quantity of corn, beans 
and melons. The character which they bear with 
their savage brethren, is, that they are much more 
to be dreaded for their deceit and inclination far 
stratagem, than for open courage. 

sa* m ra nmAifc 44 

* The Reynards reside in three Tillages. The* 
on the -west side of the Mississippi six miles 
above the rapids of the. river de Roche. The 
second about twelve miles in the rear of the lead 
AHne^ and the third en Turkey river, half a league 
from its entrance* They are engaged in the same 
-wars, and hare the same alliances as the Sauks^ 
irith whom they must be considered as indissoluble 
in war and peace. They hunt on both sides of the 
Mississippi, from the river Iowa (below the prairie 
* dies. Chiens) to a river of that name, above said 
, village. They raise a great quantity of corn, beans 
and melons; the former of those articles in such 
quantities, as to sell many hundred bushels per an- 

At this period, 1805, according to Lieutenant Pike, 
the total number of souls in the Sauk nation was 
9850, of whom 1400 were children, seven hundred 
and .fifty women, and seven hundred warriors. 
They resided in their villages and had about seven 
hundred stand' of arms. Their trade, was princi- 
pally in deer skins, with some bear and a few otter, 
-beaver and raccoon skins. The total number of 
the Faxes was 1750, of whom eight hundred and 
fifty were children, five hundred women and four 
hundred warriors, with about four hundred stand 
of arms. Their number of villages and their trade 
being the same with the Sauks. > - 

gome further items of information about these 
tribes may be gleaned from the statistical view of 
the Indian nations furnished by Lewis and Clark's 
Expedition. It is there stated that the Saukee, er : 

Ifc ^ Lift* immune* >**&*+ 


0-«iu-kee, apeak a primitive language* direH :^rm< 
eipelly in two villages, ii^ye afeout five hundref 
warrior^ and *00Q soin* iiv the triba, were. «t war. 
with the Osage, Chippeway and.Sioux. ,The Fax** 
es or OUar-gar-me, in the Sauke* language, mmu 
ber not more than 1200 souls, and about three hun- 
dred warriors. . These nations, the Sauks and Fox* 
es, says Mr; Lewis, are so perfectly consolidated* 
that they may in fact be considered as <one nation 
only: . « they are extremely friendly to the whites 
and seldom injure their traders; but they are the 
most implacable enemies to the Indian nations with, 
whom they are at war; to them is justly attributed 
die almost entire destruction of the Missouries, the 
Illinois, the Cahokias, Kaskaskias, and Peorias." 

In 18&5, the Secretary at War, estimated the en 
tfre number of Sacs and Foxes at 4,600 souls, and 
in 138&, the warriors were supposed to amount to 
between twelve and fourteen hundred* Supposing 
these estimates to approximate the truth, it appears 
that during the twenty years between 1805 and 
1825, these tribes had increased very considerably 

* in numbers. 

The traders generally and those who have had most 
intercourse with the Sauks and Foxes, speak of 
them as honest in their dealings, and feet safe 
among them, seldom lockings their doors by day or 

. night, and allowing tliem free ingress to their stores 
and houses. Their reputation for courage, it ap- 
pears, does not stand quite so foin Lieutenant 
Pike, speaks of them fes being more dreaded by 
their swage brethren ftr "their deceit and inclroa* 

84C AXD FOX IXfUAXft. 47 

ilbr stratagem, than for their open courage." 
Major. Thomas Forsyth, late U. S. agent among the 
Sacs and Foxes, calls them a. dastardly and cow* 
aidly set of Indians. The correctness of these 
changes may be questioned. Mr. Schoolcraft, in 
speaking of the Foxes says, « the history of their mi- 
grations and wars, shows them to have been a rest* 
less and spirited people, erratic in their dispositions* 
having a great contempt for agriculture, and a pre- 
dominant passion for war." He adds, "they still 
retain thehr ancient character, and are constantly 
embroiled in wars and disputes with their neigh- 
bors, the results of which -show, that they have 
more courage in battle, than wisdom in council." 
In a report of the war department -to the Presi- 
dent, made by the secretary Mr. Cass, in 1832, the 
Sacs and Foxes are spoken of as being distinguish- 
ed for their "^daring spirit of adventure and for 
their natural courage." 

The truth appears to be, that the Sacs and Foxes 
fought their way from the waters of the St. Law- 
rence to Green Bay, and after reaching that place, 
not only sustained themselves against hostile tribes, 
but were among the most active and courageous in 
the subjugation or rather extermination of the nu- 
merous and powerful IUini confederacy. They 
have had many wars, offensive and dfefensive, with 
the Sjoux, the Pawnees, the Osages and other 
tribes, some of whom are ranked among the most 
fierce and ferocious warriors on the continent; and, 
it does not appear, that in .these conflicts, running 
through a long period of years, they were found 

43 UtX <t* BLAO* lTAW*. 

wanting in tins greatest of savage virtues. In the 
late w*fr with Great Britain, a party from the Sacs 
and £o*es, fought under the British standard as a 
matter of choicer and in the recent contest be- 
tween a fragment of these tribes and the Cfrtfted 
States, although defeated and literally cut to pieces 
by an overwhelming force, his very questionable 
whether their reputation as braves, would suffer by 
a comparison with that of their victors. It is be^ 
lifcved that a careful review of their history, 
ffcom the period when they first established them- 
_selves on the Waters of the Mississippi, down to 
the present time, will lead the inquirer to the con- 
clusion, that the Sacs and Foxes are truly a coura- 
geous people/shrewd, politic, and enterprising, with 
not more of ferocity and treachery of character, 
than is common among the tribes by whom thev 
are surrounded <* 


Treaty with'the Sac and Fox Indians in 1789— treaty and cession of 
iaad to the United States at St. Louis in 1804— Black Hawk's ac- 
count of this treaty— Erection of Fort -Madison— The British ex- 
cite th£ Sac and Fox Indians to make war upon the United States — A 
f*rt{«nder Black Hawk join the British standard in 1812— Treaty at N 
Portage des Sionx in 1815— Treaty of peace with Black Hawk and' his 
band at same place in Ml^Treaty for part of their lands in Missouri 
is 1824— Treaty of Prairie des Chiens in 1825— Treaty for the min- 
eral region in 1829— Treaty of peace in 1832, after the " Black 
Hawk war" — Present residence of the Sacs and Foxes. 

The first treaty between the United States and 
the Sacs, was made at Fort Harmar, on the Mus- 
kingum river, on the 9th of January 1789. It was 
concluded by Arthur St. Clair, governor of the 
Territory north west of the Ohio, on the part of 
the United States, and the sachems and warriors of 
the Chippeway, Ottawa, Pottawatamie, Delaware, 
Wyandotte and Sac tribes of Indians. The object 
of this treaty seems to have been the confirmation 
of former treaties and the adjustment of boundary 
lines of previous cessions of land. By the four- 
teenth article of this treaty, it is provided, that the 
United States, " do also receive into their friendship 
and protection, the nations of th* Pottawatamies, 
and Sacs; and do hereby establish a league of peace 
and amity between them respectively j and all the 
articles of this treaty, so far as they apply to these 
nations, are to be considered as made and conclu- 
ded, in all and every part, expressly with them 
and each of them." 

On the 27th of June 1804, the President, Mr. 
Jefferson* directed Governor William H. Harrison, 
3 E 


to make a treaty with the Sacs, and obtain, if pos- 
sible, cessions of land on both sides of the Illinois 
river, and to give them, in licit thereof, an, annual 
compensation. In November following? Governor 
Harrison concluded a treaty with the Sacs *and 
Foxes, under his instructions. As this treaty has for- 
med the basis of all the subsequent ones made with 
these tribes, and as its validity, has been disputed 
by some of the Sac nation, it is deemed expedient, to 
copy it entire, in this place, more especially as fl. 
will be matter of frequent reference in the subs© 
quent pages of this work. 

"Articles "of a treaty, made at Saint Louis, in 
the district of Louisiana, between William Henry 
Harrison, governor of the Indiana Territory andof 
the district of Louisiana, superintendent of Indian 
affairs for the said territory and district, and ccmnnjs- 
sioner plenipotentiary of the United States, for con- 
cluding any treaty, or treaties which may be found 
necessary with any of the north western tribes of 
Indians, of the one part; and the chiefs and head 
menrof the united Sac and Fox tribes of the o,ther 

Article 1. The United States receive the united 
Sac and Fox tribes into their friendship and protec- 
tion; and the said tribes agree to consider them- 
selves under the protection of the United States, 
and of no other power whatsoever. 

Art. 2. The general boundary line between the 
ands of the United States and of the said Indian 
tribes shall be as follows* yiz: Beginning a* a point 

G^ogadte ^v^,.tljeia/e8, i# a;diresf copra so a*: 
to ^f^.^^^F^^^ 1 ^^^ ^slaai^iftEttfiifty^ 

toj^ Mississippi*, thence, Hp £ ^ T ;fttois^^itte^ > 
mouth of the Ouisconsinrivor, w& .up : Ihefs^nefti^ 
a j^j^tivhich sj^albtye ti*irjfcy-sj£ miles/ to £*• diwt 
line.- frog* thp,mpi^.,(rf Aa^L^riynrii, tHenoe/ by. -al? 
direct, ltiie tyapouttf ^hqre/tfteFpx ***£* (abraitfki: 
of^tbs iliiuwi) leases th^jsaaaU : lafc$ galled Sfrka*-!* 
gaq^th^ce iloynjtbe jFqx river fc> tl^JlHnoia riv^r*:. 
an4^o\ynithe saa^ .^^^IVjis^ippL i Apd tb*w 
sa^trib^ r for and in #^iderajiian .of 4h* £rie**& • 
ship,afld protection q{ tk^UnitedvStato, ^kithiimii 
nojpr earthed ,tp,tjieflk pf .tfj* goods J(tQvtbejvaJtw»n 
of 4^(^th9^nd*/fcs}Q i*u»dred and ,tbiriy^urdt?#«r* 
lars and fifty cents) which^w^Aow^deliireBed^aixdj » 
of,th^^ij^y^hewii»fte» ; stipulated to- ,bei p*icU*rio 
hereby c^e; s and>^lipquish.:ftre j v«r, to- the United-, 
Statfis, ^tfce lan^,include^\rtihil^4h^^«ibQve«d^- .!' 
sciibp^.l^^Qdwy. ,: -■ : ; « " . :•>. fcVi:..!-. h ' «M r * '••-,* 
AjV^ Jn con^deptfipn of the r c^aioi> and relioM - 
quifiJjp&Sftt qf la^d : ^w0e j^i^vjwe^lBg ^mwle^ ; 
the .Up^tpi. Stages- w^l itelw e ^ito-,theJsaki]iiii»^,;»tf • 
the^to^rpf.^t.. I^s^or.-fopie jQi&er»!#iwfcnianl^ . 
pla^ Qg,,the AJissi^ppiif, yearly wd •tTOQr^qfmr, .!r 
goods suited; to .ti^,^wms^aiiee$ sfothe Iadiabs^i ' 
of the vah*e of oae , thousand dolJaW. (si* hundred - 
of which are. intended i#r the Saqvancl four hun- 
dred for the F^xes,) reckoning; thafc ralue^t the fital ? 
costo^f^e goods in the city or place m the United 
Stajt% 1 wt^f© L fty£ qhftty )*, p&oyrpd^ ..And M.ihm^ 

5*< life tir*Lifeit tutor.' 

said tribe^ahafl hereafter, at iih rfhnt&rd&ivferjf of; ' 
the good* tfibreteid, 1 desire that a patt 6f their anV ' 
nuity Should be^fitofehfed iri doiilfestic animals!, im- 
plemerits of husbandry 1 , anA ether tifensffe, cdnf&it- * * 
eat for them, the same shall at the stfb&eqttent annual ; 
delivery* refurnished accordingly. ; ; ' : { ,Jt 

Arti 4. The United States will never intemipt ; 
the &id tribes; in the po&esslbn bftHfeltod^^hich 1 
theyrightfnRy^laim; batwill bn th^contr^ry,protect r 
them id the ^niet enjoyment of the same, against ' 
thfeir own citizens, and against all othet white per-' 
sons, whb may intrude' up6h fhern. And the said 
tribes do hereby engage, that they will never sell 
tnttr fend, or 5 any pdrt thereof, td any sovereign*' 
power but the United States; n<ft to the citizens or 
subjects: of any other sovereign pctoeiy nor tothfe 1 : 
ci&»niiof the United State* 1 !l " 

Arti> & Lest thV friendship which is Aew estab- 
lished • between tiie tTnited States^ and the feid 
Indian tribes, should be interrupted by tlte mis- 
conduct of individuals, it is hereby agreed, fHat for - 
injuries done by individuals^ no- private relrenge or 
retaliation «hall lake -place; b*tt, instead thereof, ' 
complaint shall be taad€ by'the party injured to the 
other; by -the saM tribes, ■ or efthfer of 1 thfem, to ?< ' 
the superintendent <*f Indian affair*, or one of « 
his deputies; : and by the stipelintendeht, or other 
person appointed by the President,'**) the chiefs of 
theaflrid tribes. And it shall be the duty of the said 
chtefi^ upon complaint being made, as aforesaid, to 
deliver up the person, or persons, against whom the 
*©n*piaintts made, to file end <hat he, or they; may 

v 4# punished agreeably to the laws of the state or 
♦territory where ihe offence wy haw been eo»- 

. .putted. And, in like manner* if any robbery, vio- 

lenpe or niurder sfyril be comgutted on aiqr Indian, 

; qr Indians, belonging tp the said tribes, or either of 

Jiie^the .person or person? so t offending, shaJJUbe 
tried, and if found guilty, punished, in J jke manner 

v $s if the injmry had been done to a white man, -And 
it is further agreed, that the jchiefs of the said tribes 
shall, to the utmost of their po,wer, exert themselves 
to recover horses, or <>ther property which may be 

^ stolen £rpui> any citizen o? citizens of the United 
States by any individual or individuals of their 
tribes, Afld the. property sp, recovered, shall be 
forthwith covered, to the superintendent, or other 

.person authorized Uf receive it, th^t itpiay bere- 

: stored to t^e propter owner. And in^.ca^s whepre 
the exertions, ?f , the chiefs . shall, be ineffectufl ip 
re^oyering the property stolen* 'as aforesaid, if ; suf- 
ficient proof can be obtained, that such property w?ls 
actually sfolen by any Indian, or Jndians, }>etqng- 

, iftg to the said ti£bes or either of theni, the llnitpd 

.States joa^y. deduct jfrom tl^> ; annuity of the $ajd 

, tfifces, £ sum «<ju?i to the value of ##,.p«>pei$y 
which was stolen. And the United $te£f% N*$ky 
guaj^tfy to any.Indian pr jncjians, of tjjp said* tjibes, 
a f!$fj(^^ for any. horses, or <?tber pro- 

P5^,w:hich i»y be ^fen^rqm th^jn, b# any qf th^eir 
jpitizeps; P^roimfeJ, that the pjpj>er$y so stolw ca#- 
; noi, Ije' recovered, and ^th^, sufficient proc^ia pro- 
duced thai it was ^tu^y-stqjpn by a cjtiz^^tfce 

'l^oiteAStates-. .... ^; : .,,.\,."/. s , ■,*•>'•. > ^^Jv-rf-', 1 ^.-! 

^64 *iW'6F*1fa%*^V*K. 

11 -Aft. &■ If ShyfcMifen ofW'FhiWSt&fes, or 

-*tay othter tciiite picffctori,-slH^ 

-4ipofl the&ridS wftieH aite^he 'property of the Sic 

'and #6fc feribcd/tiitoto <Stojiaint be3iig;Miae tfierfe- 
•fcf, to th% Sftps^eMe^, or oth<* pfersbii having 

ifthtofge of *fc affoirs of ?{ fKe Iddiahst/ sucJi ; intruder 

*attfci*^ith be reidoved! Ij ' " m 

*'*-*£&¥. A[s iv lohg f aaf°ihe lands which a*e tftiw 
p/ ceded to the Unit ed States tettiaili their property, the 
"' Tiftfiaiisfeelonging to the said tfibes shall • enjoy the 
^$rivitege of living arid hunting igfpon tfierit "\ 

4 Ait. 8. As th£ few* of the "Urttcd States rfeglila- 
s tirig takde fcrtd intercourse vritii the ; Indian tribes, 
''feure already ; extended to the cbuiitry inhabited by 

the S&cs* arid Foxesy* &nd ! as ' it is jprovided !) by those 
" laWs, that no'person shall resSdejaV a'tetder/Tn the 
: Ii^arf , eountry ? i> yithout a licence totter the hand 
: in^seTal bf l thef Sup^riiitendent'of Ingfian affairs, or 
"fettier persoirl appointed for thd purpose by the' Pre- 
*fidentythe said ttibes do promise 'and agree, that 
"fliey'trifi "ribt 'suffer aifrjr' trader to* reside aiiiong 
tyltefn, withetafsuch licence, and that^they will, from 
41i&e *te timfc, give ndtice to 'fhfc 'ShperinteAdfent,' br 
<fe thtfiag&it forthdr trib&, of 4aH flie traders tfiat 
'<itejr^iS ; ttie{r'touiitry. : :: :J 

«' "'"'JEffr'""^. TA order to plrtra stop' tothe abrisdT&nd 
~i%d»tfctofc which *r* practised tiptothe;^ tribes, 
^ ihb prtvAtetetde^the Uhited States ivili, *t <a 

c^V^fettimeieeti'bBJh a trading hobse/bf fac- 

ttk^-Whfere theitiidiyidtiab of th^feidHri«es*vian be 
'^If^liiff^th goodsrlat'/a more rfeasfonatile rate, 

than they have been accustomed to pirbcttfe therm. 


'■ 'Art. l6: In order to evince the sincerity of their 
friendship and affection for the United States, and 
a respectful deference for their advice, by an act 
S^hicn will not only be acceptable to them, but to 
the common father of all the nations of the earth, 
the said tribes do, hereby, promise and agree that 
they will put an end to the bloody war which has 
heretofore raged between their tribe and the Great 
and Little Osages. And for the purpose of burying 
the tomahawk, and renewing the friendly inter- 
bourse between themselves and the Osages, a meet- 
ing of their respective chiefs shall take place, at 
which, under the direction of the above named 
commissioner, or the agent of Indian affairs residing 
at St. Louis, an adjustment of all their differences 
shall be made, and peace established upon a firm 
and lasting basis. 

Art. 11. As it is probable that the government 
. of the United States will establish a military post 
at, or near the mouth of the Ouisconsin river, and 
as the land on the lower side of the river may not 
be suitable for that purpose, the said tribes hereby 
agree, that a fort may be built, either on the upper 
side of the Ouisconsin, or on the right bank of the 
Mississippi, as the one or the other may be found 
most convenient; and a tract of land not exceeding 
two miles square, shall be given for that purpose; 
an^ the said tribes do further agree, that they will 
aJ'Vall times, allow, to traders and other persons 
'travelling through their country, under the author- 
ity of the United States, a free and safe, passage for 
th^iftsehre's arid their prQperty of every description; 


and that for such passage, they shall at no time, 
and on no account whatever, be subject to g.ny toll 
or exaction. 

Art. 12. This treaty shall take effect and lie- .ob- 
ligatory on the contracting parties, as soon as the 
same shall be ratified by the President,, by and 
with the advice ihd consent of the Senate of the 
United States. 

In testimony whereof, the said William Henry 
Harrison, and the chiefs arid head men of said Sac 
and Fox tribes, have hereunto set their hands and 
affixed their seals. Done at St. Louis, in the dis- 
trict of Louisiana, on the third, day of November, 
one thousand, eight hundred and four, and of the 
independence of the United States the twenty-ninth. 
Additional article. 
It is agreed that nothing in this treaty contained 
shall affect the claim or any individual or individuals, 
who may have obtained grants of land from the 
Spanish government, and which are not included 
within the general boundary line, laid down in this 
treaty: Provided, that such grant have at any time 
been made known to the said tribes and recognized 
by them. 

William Henry Harrison. L. S. 

Latowvois, or Laiyuva,his X mark. L. S. 

PaShepaho, or the Stabber, his X mark. L. S. 

Qttashquame, or jumping fish, his Xmark. L. S. 

Outchequaha, or sun fish, his X mark. L.S. 

Hashequarhiqua, or the bear, his >4 mark. L. S. 
In presence of 
William Prince, Secretary to the Commissioner. 

«*o~u*> roc wwam. *jf 

. , John :0riffin» one of. titer Judges of tf>e Indiana 
J. 3ruff, Maj. Art'y. U. S; - 

Anm Stoddard, Capt corps of Artillerist. 
. P, Ghoteau, Agent de la haute Louisiana, th>ut le 
'.:-.' department sanvage. 
Ch. Gratiot 
Actg. Choteau. fc 

~& Warrel, Lieut U. States Artillery. 
D. Itetounay. 

Joseph Barron. > sworn 

H'poHte Bolen, his w mark. > Interpreters. 

On the 31st of December 1804, the President of 
Ae United States, submitted this treaty to the Sen- 
ate for- their advice and eonsent, and it was by that 
body didy ratified. 

In- a Life of Black Hawk, dictated by himself 
and written by J* B. Patterson, to which there is a 
certificate of authenticity appended from Antoine 
Le Clair. IL S. interpreter, for the Saes and Poxes, 
under date of ltfthOctober 1833, there is the fot* 
lowing statement concerning the manner in which 
this treaty was made. .-.-,■ 

* Softie nioontf after this young chief (Lieutenant 
Pike) descended the Mississippi, one- of our people 
killed an American, and was confined, in the pris- 
on at St. Louis for the offence. We held a council 
at out. village to see what could be done for him-^- 
which determined that Quash-qua-me, Pa-she-pa-ho, 

Ou-che-qaa-ha, and Ha-^he-quar-hi-qua, should go 


#6 mm*l4# 9**a*uxw*. 

jdoffikftoftt. jLoaJt^a&d dee* our Amemaii fsiher, 
and do all they could to have our, friend Released; 
by paying for the persoft .Wiled, 4 thus covering the 
blood and^U$fyUi^iherelatioasx)f the marl mwder 
ed 1-oEhk tetog4he <miy means with us of saving a 
person who had killed another, and we Men thought 
it was the same way with the whites. 
-:, " The party started with the good-wish&s of the 
whole nation, hoping they would accomplish the 
object of thei? -mission. The relation* of the pris- 
oner blacked their faces and fasted, hoping the 
Great .Spirit would take pity on them, a&d return 
the husband >nd the father to hi* wifeand children. 

" Quash-qua^rae and party remained a long time 
absent. They at length returned and encamped a 
short distance below the Tillage, but did not come 
#p that day, nor did any perspn approach their 
eamp. They appeared to be dressed in fine coats 
and had -medals.;;:: From these circumstances, we 
were in hopes tbey , bad, brought ue good news. 
I&u$y the next x^rning, the council lodge was 
crowded-T-Quash-qua*«ie and party eame up^ and 
gave us the following aecouet of fheit mission* 

^Qrxitheir arrival at St Louis, tb#y met their 
American father, and explained to hiai their husi* 
pe6s,ai>dl urged 43be>»*eteaae of their fliend, rThe 
American chief told them he waited land, and 
they a^«ed la give him aome- <m the wejst side ; erf 
the .Mississippi, and some o& tb$ I$noi» side oppo- 
site the Jeffreon. When the business was all arran* 
ged, they expected to have their friend released to 
come hcwoie with them.— Bi^t about the time they 


wore ready to *tart, their friend was led out of pris- 
on, who ran a short distance and was shot dead. 
Tb» is all they could recollect of what was said 
and done. They had been drunk the greater part 
of the time they were in St. Louis. 
. f . * This is all myself or nation knew of the treaty 
of 1804. It has been explained to me since, lfind 
by that treaty, all our country east of the Missis- 
sippi, and south of the Jeffreon was ceded to the 
United States for one thousand dollars a year! I 
will leave it to the people of the United States to 
say, whether our nation was properly represented 
in this treaty ? or whether we received a fair com- 
pensation for the extent of country ceded by those 
four individuals. I could say much more about 
this, treaty but I will not at this time. It has been 
the origin of all our difficulties." p. 27. 

The power among the Indian tribes of this coun- 
try to sell their lands, has always been considered 
as vested in the chiefs. They, however, are ac- 
customed to consult the whole nation, and, possibly, 
it. nary be , necessary, in all cases, that its assent 
should be obtained. It has not been the practice 
pf our government, it is believed, in its negotiations 
with the Indians, to institute particular enquiries 
for the purpose of ascertaining, how far the chiefs 
were authorized to act by their people. A number 
of treaties have been formed, at different times, in 
which the chiefs must have acted under the general 
authority with which they are clothed on this point; 
the circumstances of the case being such, as to have 
prectyded all opportunity .of th$ir ascertaining the 

60 ura o.f black haw*. 

" .> 
sense of the tribes, after the negocfationfc had beetf 


In the case tinder consideration, notwithstanding 
the statement of Black Hawk, there was every rea- 
son, especially on the parj of the Commissioner, for 
believing, that the chiefs who signed the treaty, 
were fully authorized to act. In the first place, 
Government, in its instructions to the Commission- 
er, to make a purchase of lands, of the Sacs and 
Foxes, had given as a reason for it, that it wiis & 
matter of complaint, on the part of these two tribes, 
that they were not, like their neighbors, receiving 
an annuity from the United States, They owned 
a very large extent of territory, and had, compar- 
atively, but a limited popixlation. It was natural 
that they should wish to dispose of some portion of 
it, for the purpose of receiving an annual supply of 
goods and money. In the Second place, fiv^ chiefs 
of the Sacs and Foxes, united in the treaty, one of 
them, Pah-she-pa-ho, being at the time the great 
head-chief of the Sac nation. It is admitted by 
Black Hawk that a council had been held by these 
two tribes, and that Pah-she-pa-ho and his asso- 
ciates had been authorized to visit St. Louis to 
purchase the release of a prisoner. It is probable 
that the sale of a part of their territory may have 
been agreed upon by this council. In the third* 
place, there must have been a' prevailing opinion in 
St, Louis, that these chiefs were authorized to act 
in the case. The treaty was publicly made, and a 
number of high-minded and honorable men, sire 
parties to it, in the character of commissioner, 

sac km rex nttn&Hs. 61 

secretary, and witnesses. Among them are several 
officers of the army; the first governor of the ter- 
ritory of Louisiana; and Pierre Chouteau, at that 
time Agent for the Sac and Fox Indians, afcd well 
acquainted with them. These circumstances for- 
bid the idea of the treaty having been formed under 
circumstances in which there were not satisfactory 
reasons for believing, that the Indians, patties to it 
were fully authorized to act. 

Black Hawk is mistaken in some things about 
this treaty, and it may be that he has been mijrin- 
fbrmed in regard to the authority of his chiefs to 
make this sale of their lands. He says, for instance, 
that the treaty was made some moons after the re- 
turn of Lieutenant Pike from the sources of the 
Mississippi; when in fact Pike did not leave St. 
Louis upon his expedition, until the 9th of August 
1805, nearly a year after the date of the treaty.' 
Again, he says, it was made by four of the chiefs. 
The treaty is signed by five. But admitting that 
the deputation of chiefs transcended their authority 
in the sale of the lands, made at that time, it would 
seem that the Sacs and Poxes acquiesced in it. 
They never disavowed the treaty, but have regu- 
larly received their annuity, and, on more than one 
occasion, have recognized it, as binding. Even 
Black Hawk and his band, made this recognition, 
in the treaty of peace which they signed with the 
United States, at Portage des Sioux, in 1816. 

It may be questioned, however, whether good 
faitK towards the Indians and a due regard to na^ 
ttenal honor, do not make it expedient that our 

63 LIF* 0* BLACX JgAWK. 

government should invariably hold it« treaties with 
them, in their own country, and in the midst of the 
tribe owning the lands proposed to be purchased. In 
su<£i case, the assent of all the Indians might be 
obtained, and the charge of having formed ^fraud- 
ulent treaty, with unauthorized individuals, could 
never be raised. The peculiar relation subsisting 
between the government of the United States and 
' the Indian tribes, within its territory, demands on 
on. the part of the former, great delicacy of action, 
liberality and perfect good faith. By such a course, 
alone, can our national honor be preserved un- 

Subsequently to the treaty of 1804, the erection 
by the government of the United States, of Fort 
Madison on the Mississippi, above the Des Moines 
rapids, gave some dissatisfaction to the Sacs and 
Foxes. This was increased by the British agents 
and traders, who instigated them to resist the en- 
croachments of the Americans, now beginning to 
press upon their hunting grounds. Of this interfe- 
rence on the part of the British, with the. Indians, 
there can be no doubt. Governor Harrison in a 
letter to the secretary, of war, dated Vincennes, 
July 15th, 1810, says, "a considerable number of 
the Sacs went some time since to see the British su- 
perintendent, and on the first instant, more passed 
Chicago, for the same destination." General Clark, 
under date of St. Louis, July 20th, 1810,. says, in 
writing to the same department, "One hundred 
and fifty Sacs are on a visit to the, British agent 
by invitation, and a smaller party pn. a visit 

•AC JUf» fox mm***, 69 

to the island of St Joseph, ialake Hu*on/ J Jobs 
Johnson, Esq. the Indian agent, at Fort Wayne, un- 
der date of August 7th, 1810, says, to the secretary 
at war, « About one hundred Saukees have return* 
ed from the British agent, who supplied them li- 
-toraHy with every thing they stood ia need o£ 
The party received forty-seven rifles, and a mamber 

<s>f fusils with plenty of powder and lead." 
U McKee, Dixon, and Girty were open and active 
agents in exciting the Indians to attack the Ameri- 
can frontiers. They held frequent talks with them 
and supplied them liberally with goods and mum- 
lions of war, la 181 1, there being a strong proba- 
bility of a war with Great Britain* a deputation of 
the Sauks and Foxes, visited Washington city, to 

^seethe President, by whom they were told that in 
the ^ vent of a war taking place with England, their 

- great father did not wish them to interfere on ei- 
ther side, but to remain neutral: He did not watt 
their assistance but desired them to hunt and sup- 
port their families and live in peace. Immediately 
after the war of 1812 r the Sacs and Foxes, with 
*rhom, as with Indians gerwfcally, war is the great 
business of life, felt that they ought, as a matter of 
course, to take sides with one party or the other, and 
we*nt to St Louis, to offer their services to the Uni- 
ted States agent, to fight against the British; but the 
offer was declined* on the ground that the govern- 
ment of the United States had>resolved hot to em- 
ploy the Indians in that eapacity. The machina- 
tions of the British, were successfully continued 
The Sacs and Foxes divided upon the question of 

liidag up arn^agftuist the/I&nte* Stated A : part 
of them elaimed the protection trf the American 
government and received it; apartjofeedrthe Brit- 
ish standard, Black Hawk among the juunber, and 
fought against S»- Americans until the peace of 
IB 15, ^Thefcumberef i^aftidriwhojoin^theBritiA 
is supposed to have been about two hundred, and 
they hare ever since teen knowa as 'the "British 
Bafid," at the head of which has beeb « General 
Black Hawk" 

On the 14th September, 1815, William Glarfc, 
Ninian Edwards and Auguste Choteau^ comnu>aon. 
ers on behalf of the United States, concluded a 
treaty with the chiefs and ■ warriors of the Fox 
tribe, by which all injuries and acts of hostility, com- 
mitted by either party during the late war, were to 
be forgiven, and peace and friendship established 
between the two nations. The fourth article of 
the treaty contains a recognition: of the former trea- 
ty in these words. "The said Pox tribe or nation 
do hereby, assent to, recognize, re-establish and con^ 
firm the treaty of St Louis, which was concluded 
on the 3rd of November, 1804^ td ihe' full extent 
of their interest in the-same, as weH as all other 
contracts and agreements between the parties-? 
This treaty was made at Portage des Sioux. 

Xhithe; f9th of September, 1 Si 5, the same cone* 
missioners, at the same place, concluded a treaty of 
peace and friendship with the chiefe^ and warriors 
of that part of Sac nation df Indians residing oa 
the Mississippi river. The first article- recognizes 
the treaty of 1804 in the following words. " The 

SAC AMD VOX IfrDLUtt. 4*5 

.undersigned chiefs and warriors for themselves and 
that portion of the Sacs which they represent, do 
hereby assent to the treaty between the United 
• States of America and the united tribes of Sacs 
and. Foxes, which was concluded at St. Louis 
on the third of November 1804; and they more- 
over promise to do all in their power to reestablish 
and enforce the same." There is a further provis- 
ion that they will remain distinct and separate from 
the Sacs of Rock river, giving them no assistance 
whatever, until peace shall be established between 
them and the United States. The Sacs on Rock 
river were that part of the tribe which had been en- 
gaged in the late war, and who now declined making 
a treaty with the United States, and continued, al- 
though officially notified of the peace, to commit 
occasional depredations on the frontiers; and, it wjts 
not until the following spring that hostilities on 
their part actually ceased. 

On the 13th of May, 1816, the same commission- 
ers effected a treaty with the chiefs and warriors of 
the Sacs of Rock river, and the adjacent country. 
The first article of this treaty provides, that, "The 
Sacs of Rock river and the adjacent country, do 
hereby unconditionally assent to, recognize, re-es- 
tablish and confirm the treaty between the United 
. States of America and the united tribes of Sacs 
and Foxes, which was concluded at St Louis on 
the 3d November 1804, as well as all other contracts 
and agreements, heretofore made between the Sac 
tribe and the United States." Under the 9th article 
of the treaty of Ghent, concluded 24th December 


1814, between the United States and Great Britain, 
it was stipulated, that each party should put an end 
to Indian hostilities within their respective territory, 
and place the tribes on the same footing upon 
tvhich they stood before the war. Under this pro- 
vision, the second article of the treaty with the 
Sacs of Rock river, stipulated that they are placed 
upon the same footing which "they occupied before 
the late war, upon the single condition of their "re- 
storing the property stolen by them, from the 
whites, subsequent to theit notification that peace 
had been made between the United States and 
Great Britain. 

Under the 9th article of the treaty of 1804, the 
United States agreed to establish a trading-house 
to supply the Sacs and Foxes with goods at a more 
reasonable rate than they had been accustomed to 
procure them. On the third of September 1822, 
Maj. Thomas Forsyth, the U. S. Indian agent, made 
; a treaty at Fort Armstrong, with the chiefs, war- 
riors and head men of the Sacs and Foxes, by 
which, in consideration of the sum of one thousand 
dollars, they forever released the United States 
from all obligation contained in said ninth article 
of the treaty of 1804. 

On the" fourth of August 1824, at Washington 
city, William Clark, Indian agent and sole com- 
missioner of the United States, effected a treaty 
with the Sacs and Foxes through their chiefs and 
head men, by "which, for the stttn of one thousand 
dollars per annum for ten yearsi they ceded all their 
interest and title to any lands claimed by them 

SAC AftD TOX nrbiANs. ' 67 

: m the sitate of Missouri, which are situated, lying and 
being between the Mississippi and Missouri rivers, 

- And a line running from the Missouri at the entrance 
of Kansas river, north one hundred miles, to the 
north west corner of the state of Missouri, and from 
fhen6b*east to the Mississippi. By this treaty, these 
tribes acknowledged the land east and south of the 
lines above described, so far as the Indians claim 
the same, to belong to the United States, and that 

'" none of their tribes shall be permitted to settle or 

- hunt upon any part of it, after the first day of 
January 1826, without permission from the Super- 

■' intendent of Indian affairs. 

Upon the I9th of August 1325, William Clark 
and Lewis Cass, Commissioners on behalf of the 
United ] States, concluded a treaty at Prairie du 

<• (ihien, m the territory of Michigan, with the chiefs 

' x and warriors of the Sioux, Winnebagoes, Meno 
minees, Chippewas 1 , Ottawas, Pottawatamies, iSacs, 

' F6x;es and Ioways. The objects of this treaty were 
the restoration of peace among the Indian tribes, 
several of whom had been for some time waging 
war against each other; the settlement of boundary 
lines between these tribes respectively, and between 
them and the United States. The Commissioners 
succeeded in effecting * peace between the Sioux 
and Chippeways, and between the Sacs, Foxes and 
Ioways on the one part, and the Sioux on the other ; 
and also in adjusting thte boundary lines of the ter- 
ritory of each tribe to the satisfaction of all parties. 
Under this treaty iiottiing was asfeed by the United 
State* ' hbr was any thing granted to them: ihe 


character in which the government presented itself, 
being simply that of a pacificator. 

The concourse of Indians assembled at this coun- 
cil was very great About 3000 came to the coun- 
cil ground, clothed in their war dresses, and armed 
with bows, war-clubs and tomahawks. The Sacs 
and Foxes were the last to arrive, but were very 
imposing and warlike in their appearance when 
they reached the ground. They ascended the Mis- 
sissippi, to Prairie du Chien, in a fleet of canoes, 
lashed together. They passed and repassed the 
town in a connected squadron, standing erect, in 
their canoes, in full dress, singing their war songs. 
Upon landing, they drew up in martial order, as if 
m warlike defiance of their bitter enemies, the 
Sioux, who were encamped near the shore, and 
who in turn shot back the fierce look of hostility 
upon their ancient foe. An eye witness describe* 
this scene as one unique and singularly magnificent. 
The council was held under a spacious booth of 
green boughs, and lasted for several days. Keokuk 
was present on this occasion, as the head chief ot 
the Sacs, and took an active part in the council; his 
course being marked by that moderation and sound 
policy, for which he is eminently distinguished. 

In the early part of the year 1828, the President 
of the tfnited States, appointed Governor Cass mid 
Colonel Pierre Menard, to treat with certain tribes 
of Indians for the cession of what is called the 
" mineral region" lying on the Mississippi, south 
of the Wisconsin. The commissioners arrived at 
Green Bay late in the summer of that year, and on 



the 25th of August, made a temporary agreement 
w.ith the Indians, by which the 'Whites were atidw- * 
ed- to occupy thfe , country inhere the lead? mines ■■• 
were worked^ and in ikie ensuing year a- treaty w» 
to be. held with the Indians for the purchase of the-- 
mineral country: in the mean time, no white was to : 
cross a certain lme, described in saiii agreement, 
to dig for ore; and filially the Indians were paid '■ 
twenty thousand dollars m goods, for- the trespasses « 
already committed' on their lands by the miners. 
This agreement was ratified by the* President and 
senate of the United States on the' 7th January,— 
1839. Soon after President Jackson came into'* 
office in 1829j he appointed; General McNeil of the **' 
army, to fill the place of Governor Cass in the - said - c 
txrmmission, which was to meet at St. Lotiis ftnd * 
under the agreement above described, proceed to - 
the mineral region, to effect' by treaty, its purchase. '*'- 
In consequence of some disagreement in opinion '• 
between these two . contmissioners, the President 
subsequently united with ttiem, Caleb Atwater, 
Esq. of Ohio. They reached Prairie sdtt Chien 
about the middle of July, where they me* deputies . 
on the part of the Winnebagoe*, Ghippe ways, Ottou : * 
was,. PottawatimieS, Siouxy Sauks, Foxes and 
Menominees; and on- the first of August, a treaty* » J 
was concliided.for about eight millions of acres, ex;- *: 
tending from the upper end of Rock island to the 
mouth of the Wisconsin* from latitude 41° 15' to.lati- 
tude 43° 15' on the Mississippi. Following the mean ':• 
derings of the river the tract is about two hundred and * i 
forjy milc^fifowi south to north. It. extends along - 


the Wiseonskxand Fox rivers from west to east so as 
to give * passage across the country from the Missis : 
sippi to lake Michigan. At this treaty Keokuk and 
Morgan, with two hundred warriors of the Sac and 
Fox tribes were present,- and according; to the state* 
merit of one of the~commissieners, rendered essential 
service to them, by intimidating the Winebagoes, who 
from, some -dissatisfaction, threatened to assassinate 
the commissioners and those associated with them. 
On the 2 1st Sept 1832^ after the conclusion of 
the Black Hawk War, General Scott and Governor 
Reynolds concluded a . treaty with the Sacs and 
Foxes, by which about six million acres of 
land were acquired, for which the United States 
were to pay them the sum of twenty thousand dol- 
lars per annum for thirty years, to pay off the debts 
of the tribes and to support, at the discretion of the 
President, a black and gun smith among them. A 
reservation was made of forty miles square, on the 
Ioway rivfcr in favor of Keokuk, (since purchased,) 
including his village, as a reward for his fidelity to 
the United States. Black Hawk, his son and the 
Prophet were to be held as hostages during the 
pleasure of the President- This is known as the 
* Black Hawk purchase." The whole of the six 
millions lie upon the west sideiaf the Mississippi and 
are included within the following boundaries: Be- 
ginning on the Mississippi river at the point where 
the Sac and Fox northern boundary line is estab- 
lished, by the second article of the treaty of Prairie 
des Chiens of 15th July, 1890, strikes said river; 
thence up said boundary line to a point fifty miles 


from the Mississippi, measured on said line to the 
nearest point on the Red Cedar of Iowa, forty miles 
from the Mississippi river; thence in a right line to a 
point in the northern boufidary of the state of Mis- 
souri fifty miles measured on said boundary from 
the Mississippi river; thence by the last mentioned 
boundary to the Mississippi river, and by the west- 
ern shore of said river to the place of beginning. • 
The Sac and Fox tribes are now residing on the 
west side of the Mississippi, and are living upon 
friendly terms with the United States. As a gen- 
eral remark, it may be said, that their intercourse 
with the United States has been of a pacific char- 
acter. They took no part in the war of the Re- 
volution: they were not parties to the Indian dis- 
turbances which terminated in the treaty of Green- 
ville in 1795. Tecumseh and the Prophet failed to 
enlist them in their grand confederacy against the 
Americans, which was nearly broken up by the 
premature battle of Tippecanoe. The machinations 
of the British agents and traders, backed by the 
most liberal distribution of goods and fire arms, in- 
duced but a small party of them, not exceeding 
two hundred, to join the British standard in the late 
war with England. In the still more recent dis*. 
turbance, on the frontiers of Illinois, called the 
a Black Hawk war," but a portion of these tribes, 
took up arms against the United States, the great 
mass of them. refusing to take any part in it; while 
Keokuk, their principal chief, exerted all his influ- 
ence to dissuade the "British Band" from engaging, 
in so hopeless a contest. 





Birth of Black Hawk — Early adventures — Battles with the Osages and 
Cherokees — Death of his father — Interview with Lieutenant Pike- 
Attack upon Fort Madison — Joins the British in the late war- 
Marches to lake Erie — Re tarns home after Ihe attack upon Fort 
Stephenson — Murder of his adopted son — Battle of the Sink-hole 
near Cap au Gris — Treaty of peace at Portage des Sioux in 1816. 

Black Hawk is a remarkable instance of an 
individual, in no wise gifted with any uncommon 
physical, moral or intellectual endowments, obtain- 
ing, by the force of circumstances, the most extra- 
ordinary celebrity. Since the year 1831, his name 
has been familiarly known to the people of the 
United States; and the terror, which for a brief 
period, it excited upon the frontiers of Illinois, Mis- 
souri and Indiana, was only surpassed by the curi- 
osity which pervaded every part of the union, to . 
behold this notable chief of the woods, after he had 
been conquered, and was carried a prisoner of state, 
from the wilds of the West to the Atlantic sea- 
board. His tour through the United States, par- 
took largely of the triumphal march of a successful 

aero. In the number of persons who flocked around 



him, the honors which he received were scarcely- 
less flattering than those awarded to the illustrious 
Lafayette, while the "nation's guest." In the one 
case there ws^s curiosity alone, in the other, curiU 
osity and gratitude blended. To the casual obser- 
ver, the distinction between the two cases is not 
very apparent. 

The causes which created a desire so universal, 
to behold this aboriginal chief, have awakened a 
corresponding interest in the public mind, to learn 
more. of his history, than was revealed in the events 
of the* campaign of 1832. To gratify this curiosity* 
is the object of the present volume. The author 
has carefully consulted all the sources of informa- 
tion, touching the life and character of JBlack Hawk, 
that, were within his reach; and has. studiously 
avoided the presentation of any fact which did not 
seem-to be well authenticated. Shoulc^the incidents 
here narrated, in the life of this celebrated Indian, not 
prove as rich and amusing as might be anticipated, 
from the wide spread notoriety which he has ob- 
tained, the work will still be found of some value. 
It presents in a connected form, and ?is the author 
trusts, with historic accuracy, one link in_the great 
chain of political relations between the United States . 
and the Indian tribes of North America. Every 
day is increasing the interest and magnitude of these 
relations, and any effort to preseyye the facts with 
which they are associated, would seem to be worthy. 
ot public consideration. Black Hawji may die, his. 
name be forgotten, and the smoke of his wigwam 
be seen no more, but the "JJlack Hawk war" will 




long form a page of deep interest, in the history of 
this country. 

'The .subject of this memoir is by birth a Sac, 
having been born at die principal Sac village, on 
Rock River, in the year, as hie himself states, 1767. 
His father's name was Py-e-sa, his grandfather's 
Na-na-ma-kee or Thunder. Black Hawk Was not 
by birth a chief, but at the early age of fifteen, 
having distinguished himself by wounding an 
enemy, he was permitted to paint and wear fea- 
thers; and was placed in the rank of the Braves. 
About the year 1783, he united In an expedition 
against the Osages, and had the good fortune to 
kill and scalp one of the enemy: for this act of 
youthful valor, he was, for the first time, permittted 
to mingle in the scalp-dance. This triumph was 
followed shortly afterwards by two more excursions 
against the same tribe. In the first, Black Hawk 
was the leader of seven men, who suddenly attack- 
ed a party of one hundred Osages, killed one of 
them, and as suddenly retreated without loss. This 
exploit, so far increased the number of his followers, 
that he soon afterwards started with a party of one 
hundred' and eighty braves, and marched to an 
Osage village, on the Missouri; but foiind it desert- 
ed. Most of the party being disappointed, left 
their leader and returned home. Black Hawk, 
however, with but five followers, pursued the trail 
of the enemy, and after some days succeeded in 
killing one man and a boy; and, securing their 
scalps, returned h6me. In the year 1786, having 
covered from the effect of his late unsuccessful 

&IW OF BXACK HA*K, _ 77 

excursion, Black Hawk found himself once more at 
the head of two hundred braves, and again set off 
to avenge the repeated outrages of the Osages upon 
the Sac nation. Soon after he reached the enemy's 
country, he met a party about equal in number to 
his own- A battle ensued. The Qsages lost near 
one hundred men* and Black Hawk nineteen. He 
claims, in the attack, to have killed five of the en- 
emy, with his own hand. This severe engagement 
had the effect, for some time, of keeping the Osages 
upon their own lands and arresting their depreda- 
tions upon the Sacs. This cessation of hostilities 
gave the latter an opportunity of redressing the 
wrongs which the Cherokees had committed upon 
them, by murdering some of their women and chil- 
dren. A pa^ty was raised for this purpose, and 
met the Cherokees upon the Merrimack river, below 
St. Louis, the latter being most numerous. In this 
battle Py-e-sa, the father of Black Hawk was kill- 
ed. The Cherokees were compelled to retreat with 
the loss of twenty-eight men, the Sacs having but 
seven killed. Upon the fall of Py*e-sa, Black Hawk 
assumed the command and also took possession of 
the " medicine bag," then in the keepingof his father. 
Owing to the disasters of this expedition, and espe- 
cially the de&th of his father, Blacfc Hawk, for the 
ensuing five years, refrainetd from all warlike oper- 
ations, and spent his time in fishing and hunting. 
At the end of this period, being about the year 1800, 
he made another, excursion, against -the Osages, a 
the head of about five hundred Sacs and Foj> 

and * hundred Iowaj^j whp .had joined bun * 


W Lfi* or bia^k Haw*; 

allies. •' After a long march they reached and tb. 
sfroyed about forty lodges of the enemy, killing 
many of their bravest warriors j five oi whom were 
slain by the leader of the invading army. In tho 
yfear 1800, he terminated a severe and protracted - 
eanipaign against the Chippewas, Kaskaskias and 
Osages, during which six or seven battles were 
fought and more than one hundred of the enemy 
killed. The following summer Black Hawk made 
one of his periodical visits to St. Louis to see his 
Spanish father, by whom he was well received. 
Upon his next visit to this Spanish dignitary, he 
found many cad and gloomy faces^ because the 
United States were about to take possession of the 
town and eotintry around it. « Soon after the 
Americans arrived," says Black Hawk, " I took my 
band and went to take leave, for the last time, of 
our father. The Americans came to see him also. 
Seeing' them approach, we passed out at one door, 
as they entered at another — and immediately start- 
ed, in our canoes, for our village on Rock river—* 
not liking the change any more than our friends \ 
appeared to at St. Louis. On arriving at our vil- 
lage, we gave the news that strange people had 
taken St. Louis, and that we should never see-our 
Spanish father again. This information made aL 
our people sorry; Sometime afterwards (1805) a 
bdat came up the river with a young American 
«hief (Lieutenant, afterwards General Pike,) and a 
small party of soldiers. * We heard of them, soon 
afier he had passed Salt river. Some of our young* 
bnfveef watched him every day, td see what sort of 


people he liadon board. The boat at length ar- 
rived at Rock river, and the young chfef came on 
shore with his interpreter — made k speech, and gave 
us some presents. We, in return, presented him 
with meat and such provisions as we could spare. 
We were well pleased with the speech of the young 
chief. He gave us good advice^ said our American 
father would treat us well, tfe presented us an 
American flag, which was hoisted. He then re- 
quested us to pull down our British flags, and give 
him our British medals — promising to send us 
others on his return- to St. Louis. This we declin- 
ed as we wished to have two fathers*" 

Subsequently to this period, the building of Fort 
Edwards, near the head of the Des Meyens rapids, 
gave much uneasiness to the Sacs. Some of the 
chiefs and a party of their followers went down to 
this point, arid had an interview with the war 
chief who had command of the troops engaged in 
constructing the fort. The Indians became satis- 
fied and returned home. Not long afterwards a 
party, of which: Black Hawk was one, determined 
to attack: and take Fort Madison, standing upon 
the west side of the Mississippi, above the mouth 
of the Des Moyens, which was then garrisoned with 
about fifty men. Their spies having ascertained 
that the troops marched out of the fort every morn- 
ing to exercise, they concealed themselves near, 
it, with an agreement tCL fire upon them When they 
came out. About sun rise, on the morning of the 
proposed attack, the gate opened, and a young 
man made his appearance, but was suffered to 


return without being molested. The gate was 
again opened and four soldierjs came out. They were 
followed by a fifth, who was instantly killed. The 
others then ran for the fort, but two of them were 
shot down before they reached it. The Indians 
continued for two days, shooting into the fort, and 
endeavoring to setjjue to it. Finding their efforts un- 
availing, they ga^jfeiP the attack and returned home. 
The period had now arrived when the difficulties 
between this country and Great Britain, were to be 
settled by an appeal to arms. Some discontent had 
prevailed among the Sacs, in regard to the en- 
croachments of the Americans upon their . hunting 
grounds. They, however, offered their services to 
the United States, to fight against the British, but 
their offer was declined. They had not been as 
.liberally supplied with presents and goods at Fort 
Madison, as they had anticipated, and in the mean 
time, the British agents had artfully fomented their 
discontent, and labored to win their confidence by 
the most liberal distribution among them of goods 
and ardent spirits. Shortly after the declaration of 
war, Girty, a British trader, arrived at Rock island 
with two boats loaded with goods, and the. British 
flag was hoisted. He infoianed the Indians that he 
had -beep sent to them by Colonel Dixon^ .with pre- 
sents, a large silk flag and a keg of rum. The day 
after his arrival, the goods were divided among the 
Indians, they promising to pay for theiji, in furs, in 
the following spring. Girty informed Black Hawk 
that Colonel Dixon was then at Green Bay, with a 
large quantity of goods, arms and ammunitioned 


was desirous that he should raise a party of warri- 
ors and join him. Black Hawk succeeded in col- 
lecting abou^ two hundred braves, and soon reach- 
ed Green Bay, where he found Dixon encamped, 
with a large body of Indians, assembled from other 
tribes, who had been already furnished with cloth- 
ing and with arms. Black Hawk had an inter- 
view with Dixon, two other war chiefs and the in- 
terpreter. " He received me," says Black Hawk, 
" with a, hearty shake of the hand, and presented 
me to the other chiefs, who shook my hand cordial- 
ly, and seemed much pleased to see me. After I 
"Was seated, Colonel Dixon said, "General Black 
Hawk, I sent for you, to explain to you, what we 
are going to do, and the reasons that have brought 
us here. Our friend Girty, informs us in the letter 
you brought from him, what has taken place. You 
will now have to hold us fast by the hand. Your 
English father has found out that the Americans 
want to take your country from you, and has sent 
me and his braves to drive them back to their own 
country. Hd has likewise sent a large quantity of 
arms and ammunition, and we want all your warriors 
to join us. He then placed a medal round m^neck, 
and gave me a paper, (which I lost in the late war,) 
and a silk flag, saying, " You are to command all 
the braves that will leave here the day after to- 
morrow, to join our braves near Detroit." 

On the following day, arms, clothing, knives and 
tomahawks,Were distributed to Black Hawk's band, 
and upon the succeeding morning, they started, in 

all near five hundred braves, to join the British ar- 


83 frVE.rO^ Wt* c1 $ IUWE * 

jny.v Th& was in August* 1812,, shortly after the 
. surrender a^d. massacre of tjie American trpops 
at Chicago, which plape they passed -a few days af- 
.iter it ha4 l^een, evacuated . Of tfce Movements of 
-Black Hawk during liis connection with the British 
upon out north west, no satisfactory information* 
lias been obtained. It appears that he was in 
4wo engagements, but seems not to have distin- * 
gpished himselL The last of these was the attack, 
j in August .1813, upon Fort Stephenson, then, under 
. the comiyiand of Major Croghan. The gallant de- 
fence of this post, and the fatal repulse given to the 
combined British and Indian forces, seem to have 
disheartened Black Hawk; for soon afterwards, tir- 
ed of successive defeats, and disappointed in not 
. obtaining the " spoils of victory," heieft the army, 
. with about twenty of his followers, and returned to 
his village on Rock river. It is probable that he 
would have remained neutral during the remain- 
der of the war, had it not been for one of 
those border outrages, which lawless and unprinci- 
pled white men but too often commit upon the 
Indiai>s,.under pretence of self defence or retalia- 
tion^ often, a mere pretext for wanton bloodshed 
and murder.. Previous to joining Colonel Dixon, 
.Black, Hawk had visited the lodge of an old friend, 
.. whose son »he had adopted and taught to hunt. He 
was anxious that this youth shQuld go with him 
and his band aixd join the British standard,, but the 
• father objected on the ground that he was depen- 
dent upon his son for game; and, moreover, that he 
didnqt;wish him to fight against the Americans 


who had always treated him kindly. He had 
agreed to spend the following winter near a white 
settler, upon Salt river, one of the tributaries of 
the Mississippi which enters that stream below the 
Des Moyens, and intended to take his son with ' 
him. As Black Hawk was approaching his village 
orr Rock river, after his campaign on, the lqjses' 
- with Dixon, he observed a smoke rising from a 
hollow in the bluff of the stream. He went to see 
who was there. Upon drawing near to the fire, he 
discovered a mat stretched, and an old man of sor- 
rowful aspect sitting under it, alone, and evidently 
humbling himself before the Great Spirit, by fast- 
ing and prayer. It proved to be his old friend, the 
•father of his adopted son. Black Hawk seated 
himself beside him and inquired what had happen- 
ed, but received no answer, for indeed he seemed 
scarcely alive. Being revived by some water, he 
looke^ up,- recognized the friend of his youth, and 
in reply to Bfcck Hawk's second inquiry, said, in a 
feeble voice, 

" Soon after your departure to join the British, I 
descended the river with a small party, to winter at 
the place I told you the white man had requested 
me to come to. When we arrived, I found a fort 
built; and the white family that had invited me to 
come and hunt near them, had jemoved to it. I 
then paid a visit to the fort, to tell the white people 
that myself and little band were friendly, and that 
we wished to- hunt in the vicinity of their fort. 
The war chief, who commanded it, told me that we 
might hriht on tho Illinois side of the Mississippi, 


and no person would trouble ns. That the horse- 
men only ranged on the Missouri side, and he had 
directed them not to cross the river. I was pleased 
* with this assurance of safety, and immediately 
crossed over and made my winter's carnp. Game 
was plenty: We lived happy and often talked 
of you. My boy regretted your absence, and the 
hardships you would have to undergp. We had 
been here about two moons, when my boy went 
out as usual to hunt. Night came on and he did 
not return. I was alarmed for his safety and pass 
ed a sleepless night. In the morning my old wo- 
man went to the other lodges and gave the alarm, 
and all turned out hi pursuit. There being snow 
on the ground, they soon came upon his track, and 
after pursuing it some distance, found that he was 
on the trail of a deer, ftiat led to the river. They 
soon came to the place where he had stood and fir- 
ed, and found a deer hanging upon the branch of 
a tree, which had been skinned. But here also 
were found the tracks of white men. They had ta- 
ken my boy prisoner. Their tracks led across the 
river, and then down towards the fort My friends 
followed them, and soon found my boy lying dead, 
lie had been most cruelly nuirdered. His.face was 
shot to pieces, his body stabbed in several places, 
and his head scalped. His aftns were tied behind 
him." ... 

The old man ceased his narrative, relapsed into 
the stupor from which he had been aroused and in 
a few minutes, expired. Black Hawk remained by 
his body during the night, and next day buried it 


upon the peak of the bluff. Shocked at the cruel 
fate of his adopted sou, and deeply touched by the 
mournful death of his old comrade, he was roused 
to vengeance against the Americans, and after re- 
maining a few days at the village, and raising a 
band of braves, prepared for offensive operations 
upon the frontiers. 

Having narrated to his band the murder of his 
adopted son, they began to thirst for blood, and 
agreed to follow Black Hawk wheresoever he 
might lead The party consisted of about thirty. 
They descended the Mississippi in canoes to the 
place where Fort Madison had stood, but found it 
abandoned by the American troops and burnt. 
They continued their course down the river and 
landed near Cap au Gris, on the 10th of May, 
where they killed one of the United States Rangers, 
namejl Bernard, but were driven off by Lieutenant 
Massey, with a detachment from Fort How;ard. 
The Indians, however, rallied in the woods, and on 
the 24th of May, a severe battle and of a character 
somewhat novel, was fought between the troops at 
Fort Howard, under Lieutenant Drakeford of the 
U. S. Rangers, and Black Hawk and his party. The 
former, in his official report of this engagement, 
says, *-. \ 

"Yesterday, about twelve o'clock, five of our 
men went out to some cabins on the bluff, about 
one quarter of a mile below the fort, to bring a 
grind-stone. The backwater of the Mississippi, 
rendered it so they went in a canoe. On their re- 
turn they were attacked by a party of Indians, sup- 



posed to be about fifty in number; they killed and 
tomahawked three and wounded one mortally. 
While about this mischief, we gave them as good a 
fire from a little below the fort, as the breadth of 
the backwater would permit. Captain Craig and 
myself with about forty men, waded across the wa- 
ter and pursued them: in going about half a mile, 
we came on them and commenced a fire which con- 
tinued about one hour, part of which time at a dis- 
tance of forty steps, and no part of the time further 
than a hundred and fifty steps: shortly after the 
commencement of the battle, we were Reinforced 
by Captain .Musick and twenty of his men ; the 
enemy now ran; some made their escape, and others 
made to a sink-hole that is in the battle ground, 
and from there they returned a most rapid fire; it 
being very dangerous, to approach neaTer than 
fifty steps of the sink, we at iength erected a breast- 
work, on the two wheels of a wagon, and resolved 
upon moving it up to thfc edge of the sink, to fire 
from behind, down into the sink arid preserve us 
from theirs. We got the moving battery finished 
about. sunset, and moved it up with a sufficient 
number of men behind it, whilst all ; other posts 
round were sufficiently guarded, in case they should 
be put to the route. 

" We had not moved to within less than ten steps 
of the sink, before they commenced a fire, which 
we returned at every opportunity. Night came on 
and we were obliged to leave the ground, and de- 
cline the expectation of taking them out without 
risking man for man, which we thought not a good 



exchange on our side. During the time of the 
battle another party of Indians commenced a brisk 
fire on the fort. Captain Craig was killed in tfie 
commencement of the battle, Lieut. Edward Spears 
at the moving of the breast work to the sink. The 
morning of the 25th we returned to the ground and 
found five Indians killed and the sign of a great 
many wounded, that had been taken off in the 
night. The aggregate number of killed or± our 
part is one captain, one third lieutenant, and five 
privates; three wounded, one missing, one citizen 
killed and two wounded mortally." 

Black Hawk states that but eighteen of his men 
were in the sink with him, and that they dug holes 
in the sides of the bank, with their knives, to pro- 
tect them from the fire, of the Americans: Some of 
his warriors commenced singing their death songs; 
but he, several tinges called out to the enemy, if 
brave men, to come down and fight them. He de- 
scribes the wagonJbattery, and its inefficiency in 
dislodging them from their depressed but safe situ- 
\tion. His retreat to the sink-hole under the cir- 
fumstauces, was a sound military movement. 
Lieutenant Drakeford having withdrawn his forces, 
Black Hawk and his party left their intrenchment 
and returned by land, to their village. 

The tribes of Indians on the Mississippi, were 
notified, in the early part of this year, 1815, thaj 
peace had. been concluded between the United 
States and England. Most of those who had been 
engaged in. the war, ceased hostilities. Black 
Hawk, however, and his band, and" some of the 


Pottawatamies, were not inclined to bury the toma- 
hawk. Even as late .as the spring of 1816, they 
committed depredations. Some palliation for thefte 
outrages may be found in the feet, that the Britisn, 
on the north-west frontier, long after they were 
officially notified of the peace, continued to excite 
the Indians to acts of violence against the United 
States; and, indeed, participated in them likewise. 
It wks in the spring of this year that they captured 
the garrison at Prairie du Chien, and instigated 
Black Hawk and his party to attack some boats, 
which were ascending the Mississippi to that point, 
with troops and provisions. In this attack, Black 
Hawk was the leader. One of the boats was cap- 
tured and several of the crew killed. They were 
compelled to return, and dropped down to the fort 
at the mouth of the Des Moyens riyer. As a re- 
ward for their attack upon these boats, the British 
agents distributed rum among the Indians engaged 
in the affair, and joined with them in dancing and 

In May, Black Hawk and his party, having been 
again summoned by the Americans, to make" 
peace, concluded to descend the Mississippi to 
Portage des Sioux, to meet the American commis- 
sioners who were there for that purpose. On the 
I3th of May, 1816, a treaty of peace was signed by 
Clark, Edwards, and Choteau on behalf of the United 
States, and the chiefs and warriors of the Sacs of 
Rock river and the adjacent country. To this treaty 
Black Hawk w ; as a party. It recognizes the validity 
of the trfeafy of St. Louis, of November 1804. 


Building of Fort Armstrong— .The good Spirit of Rock Island—Death 
of Black Hawk's children — Young Sac offers to die in place of fen 
brother— Black Hawk's visit to Maiden— Whipped by some whites- 
Whites settle at his village— Black Hawk's talk with Governor Coles 
. and Judge Hall— Sale of the lands on Rock river— Indians ordered to 
remove — Agreement to remove for six thousand dollars — Memorial of 
the white settlers to Governor Reynolds- The Governor's lettera to 
General Clark and General Gaines— The latter leaves Jefferson Bar- 

. racks with six companies of the United States troops for Rock Island — 
His interview with Black Hawk — Calls upon the Governor of Illinois 
lor militTa'— The Indians abandon their village— treaty of peace made 
with them — Official letters to the war department — Summary of the 
causes which brought on this disturbance— Black Hawk's attempt to 
form an alliance' with other tribes. 

From the treaty of peace, between the United 
States and the Sac Indians of Rock river, in 1816, 
to the commencement of hostilities between these 
parties in 1832, the life of Black Hawk seems to 
have been quiet and monotonous, occasionally re- 
lieved by a warlike excursion, but generally spent 
in hunting, throughout the winter, and in loitering 
about his village, during the summer. Such, in- 
deed, is the life of most Indians. Having no intel- 
lectual pursuits and little desire for the acquisition 
of property, beyond the stipply of their immediate 
wants, they have ih reality but two sources of 
excitement— War ahd the chase. They take no 
interest hi the domestic affairs of their families, 
have little taste for the pursuits of agriculture, and, 
if not engaged in hostile excursions, in following the 
deer, or in trapping the beaver, they sink into list- 
less inactivity. It is highly probable that many of 
their wars are undeffoken, n*>re for the gratifica- 



tion of that love of excitement, which is an inde- 
structible element of the humfen mind, than from 
any constitutional proneness to cruelty and blood- 
shed. They need both physical and intellectual 
excitation, and having none of. the resources which 
mental and moral culture throws open to civilized 
man, they seek it in making war upon each other 
or upon the wild animals which share with them 
the woods and the prairies. 

Subsequently to the treaty of 1816, and perhaps 
in that year, the government of the United States 
built Fort Armstrong, upon Rock Island, in the 
Mississippi river, and but a few miles from the vil- 
lage where Black Hawk and his band resided. This 
measure, though not actually opposed, was by no 
means acceptable to them. They probably did not 
relish the gradual advances upon them, of the 
white population; but they entertained, moreover, 
a special xegard for this beautiful island, which is 
justly considered one of the finest in the whole ex- 
tent of the Mississippi. It is fertile, and produces 
1 jnany varieties of nuts and fruits, and being in the 
rapids of the stream, the waters which lave its 
scores, yield an abundance of excellent fish. In ad- 
dition to all this, they have a traditionary belief, that 
the island was the favorite residence of a good 
spirit, which dwelt in a cave in the rocks on which 
Fort Armstrong now stands. This spirit had often 
been seen by the Indians, but after the erection of the 
Fort, alarmed by the noise and intrusion of the white 
man, it spread its beautiful, swan-like wings, and 
disappeared. During the year ,1817, the Sacs sent 


out some warriors against the Sioux, and succeeded 
in killing several of them, but Black Hawk was not 
of the party. About this time, his eldest son sick- 
ened and died, and within a short period after* 
wards, he lost his youngest daughter. This afflic- 
tion seems to have made a deep impression upon 
him? and according to a custom common among 
the Indians, he blacked his face, and for fee ensu- 
ing two years lived at home, in seclusion, drinking 
water at mid-day, and eating boiled corn, but spar- 
ingly, in the evening. In the winter of 1819-3Q, 
there was a disturbance between the Sacs and Io- ; 
ways, one of the tetter having killed a young man 
belonging to the former. Under the agreement of 
a late council between these two tribes, the old cus* 
torn of appeasing the friends of one who had been 
killed, by presents, had been abolished, and each 
party had promised, that in future, the murderer 
should be surrendered up, that he might be punish- 
ed with death. A party of Sacs, of which Black 
Hawk was one, agreed to visit the Ioway village 
on this occasion, and when about to depart, 1 called 
at the lodge of the young man who had committed 
the outrage, to take him along. He was sick, but 
still ready to accompany them. His brother inter- 
fered, and insisted that he was too unwell to trav- 
el; that he would himself ga and die in his places 
and finally set off with the pairty. On the seventh 
day, they reached the Ioway village. They dis- : 
mounted a short distarifce from it, and bid farewell 
to their young brave, who went calmly forwards, 
alone, singing his death-song, and 9eated himself m 


the middle of the. lodges. One of the Ioway chiefir 
went out to Black Hawk, who told him the brother 
had come in the place of the young man that had 
committed the murder, he being sick. Black Hawk 
and his party, now. mounted their horses and set off. 
on their return; and casting their eyes towards, the : 
village, saw the Ioways, armed with spears and 
clubs, gathering around the ; young prisoner... At. 
night the returning party, having stopped aq4 
kindled a fire, were suddenly alarmed by the 
tramping of horses. They immediately stood tp 
their arms, but were soon relieved, by finding, in- 
stead of a fo|B, their young brave, unhurt and iathe. v 
possession of two horses. They ascertained ft&£ 
the Ioways, at first threatened him with instant * 
death, but finally, changing their purpose, had 
given him something to eat, smoked the pipe with 
him, and presenting him with two horses, bid 
him return home in safety. The generous conduct 
of the Ioways is deserving of praise, but. the genu- 
ine affection of this young brave, in nobly volun- 
teering to die in place of his sick brother, presents 
one of those rare .cases of self-devotion, which 
should be held in remembrance. . 

In the following autumn, Black Hawk and some 
of his band went on a visit to their British father at 
Maiden and received presents fromhinu A medal 
was given tq Black Hawk for his fidelity to the 
British in the late war, and he was requested to 
come up annually, to that place, with his band, 
and receive such presents, as had been promised 
them hy Colonel Dixon, whea tfiey joined the 

Lirff OF BLACK HAWK* 96 

English forces. These visits were regularly made/ 
it is believed, from that time down to the year 1&32. 
It is owing to this circumstance that Black Hawk's 
party has long been known by the appellation of 
the" British Band." 

In the winter of 1822, Black Hawk and his par- 
ty, encamped on the Two-rivers, for the purpose 
of hunting, and while there was* so badly treated 
by soiQe white men, that his prejudices against the 
Americans were greatly strengthened. He was 
accused of having killed the hogs of some settlers, 
who, meeting him one day in the woods, wrested 
his gun from his hands, and discharging it in the 
air, beat him so severely with sticks that for several 
nights he was unable to sleep. They then return- 
ed him his gun and ordered him to leave the neigh- 
borhood. Of the perpetration of this outrage, there 
is little doubt, while the fact of Black Hawk's 
having committed the offence charged upon him, 
rests', at best, upon suspicion. Supposing him to 
have been guilty, aijd the supposition is at vari- 
ance with the whole tenor of his intercourse with 
the whites, it was on their part, one of those brutal 
appeals to club law, which are but too often prae-' 
tised * towards the Indians ; and which, when 
avenged by them, not unfrequently brings upon 
their natibn, the power and the arms of the United 
States. * •• ' . - - 

The ensuing summer, the expediency of a remo 
vai of the whole of the Sacs and Foxes, tp the west 
side of the Mississippi, was urged upon them by 
the agent at Fort Armstrong. The principal Fox 


chief, as well as Keokuk, assented to the removal. 
The latter sent a messenger through the village in- 
forming the Indians that it was the wish of their 
great Father* the President, that they should re- 
move, and he pointed out the Ioway river as pre 1 - 
senting a fine situation for their new village. There 
was a party, however, among the Sacs, made up 
principally of the " British Band," who were de- 
cidedly opposed to a removal; and they called up- 
on their old leader, Black Hawk, for his opinion on 
the .question. He took the ground that the land on 
which their village stood had never been sold; that 
the Americans had, therefore, no right to insistaip- 
on the measure, and that as a matter of policy he 
was opposed to it The old man was probably- 
swayed in his decision by another cause. He felt 
that his power in the tribe was waning before th* 
rising popularity of Keokuk. Here was a question 
on which their people differed in opinion. By. 
placing himself at the head of one of the parties, 
he might recover his. influence, or at least sustain 
himself against the overshadowing ascendancy of 
his rival. He had an interview with Keokuk to 
see if the matter could not be adjusted with the 
President, by giving him other lands in exchange, 
for those on which their village stood; and the lat- 
ter promised to see the great chief at St. Louis, on 
the subject. During the following winter, while 
Black Hawk and his party were absent on a hunt- 
ing expedition, several white families arrived at 
their village, destroyed some, of their lodges and 
commenced making fences over their corn-fields. 


Black Hawk upon hearing of this movement, 
promptly returned to Rock river, and found his 
own lodge occupied hy the whites. He went to 
Fort Armstrong and complained to the interpreter, 
the agent being absent. He crossed the Mississippi 
and travelled several days to converse with the 
Winnebago sub-agent, who concurred with the in- 
terpreter in advising the Sacs to remove to Keo- 
kuk's settlement on the Ioway. He then visited 
the prophet, Wabokicshiek, or White-Cloud, whose 
opinions were held in much respect by the Sacs and 
Winnebagoes. He urged Black Hawk not to remove, 
but to persuade Keokuk and his party to return to 
Rock river, assuring them that if they remained 
quietly at their village, the whites would not venture 
to disturb them. He then rejoined his hunting party, 
and in the spring when they returned to their vil- 
lage, they foimd the white settlers still there, and 
that the greater part of their corn-fields had been 
enclosed by fences. About that time Keokuk visit- 
ed Rock river and endeavored to persuade the re- 
mainder of the Sacs to follow him to the Ioway. 
He had accomplished nothing with the great chief 
at St. Louis, in regard to their remaining at their 
village, and as a matter of policy, that peace might 
be preserved, he was warmly in favor of the pro- 
posed removal. Black Hawk considered it an act 
of cowardice to yield up their village and the graves 
of their fathers, to strangers, who had no right to the 
soil, and the breach between Keokuk and himself 
was widened. 

Hie white immigrants continued ** Hkwjw. and 
5 I 


the Sac village was the great point of attraction to 
them. It was situated on the neck of land fort*ed 
by the junction of Rock river with the Mississippi, 
and had been the chief village of the tribe for sixty 
or seventy years. " Their women had broken the 
surface of the surrounding prairie with tbgir hoes, 
and enclosed with a kind of flimsy pole fence, many 
fields, which were annually cultivated by them, in the 
raising of corn, beans, potatoes and squashes. They 
had also erected several hundred houses of various 
dimensions, some probably <<an hundred feet in 
length by forty or fifty broad; which were construe* 
ted of poles and forks, arranged so as to form- a 
kind of frame, which was then enclosed with the 
bark of trees, which, being peeled off and dried un- 
der a weight for the purpose of keeping it expand- 
ed, was afterwards confined to the walls and roof 
by means of cords, composed of the bark of other 
trees. This indeed is a delightful spot: — on the 
north-west rolls the majestic Mississippi, while the 
dark forests which clothe the numerous islands of 
Rock river, with its several rippling streams on the 
south-east, form a delightful contrast, which is ren- 
dered still more pleasing: from the general declivity 
of the surrounding country, as it sinks gradually 
away to the scores of these rivers. This ancient 
village had literally become the grave-yard of the 
nation. Scarcely an individual could be found in 
the whole nation, who had not deposited the re- 
mains of some relative, in or near to this place. 
Thither the mother, with mournful and melancholy 
•tep, annually repaired to pay a tribute of reaped 


-Co her departed offspring; while the weeping sisters 
and loud lamenting widows, joined the procession 
of grief ; sometimes, in accordance with their own 
feelings, no doubt, but always in pursuance of an 
established custom of their ifaUon, from time imme- 
0»riaL On these occasions they carefully clear 
a%ay every spear of grass or other vegetable, which 
they find growing near the grave, and make such 
•repairs as may be thought nece&sary, . They also 
carry to the grave some kind of food, which they 
leave there for the spirit of the deceased: and before 
they conclude these ceremonies, they often, in a 
very melancholy and lamenting nidod, address, the 
dead, enquiring how they fare, and who, or whether 
<any one performs for them the kind offices of moth- 
er, sister or wife; together with many other en- 
quiries which a frantic imagination may happen to 
suggest This being one of the most important i»- 
Ugfeftis duties, is scrupulously observed *y all the 
better class of this people.' 5 * ■; •' 

f The whites who established themselves at ihis 
place, in violation of the laws of congress, and the 
provisions of the treaty of 1804, committed various 
"aggressions wpok the Iiidi&ns, such as destroying 
their eorti, killing thdbr domestic animals, and whip- 
ping ther wonfeeih and diildrem Tlkey earned with 
them, as article* tif ttMBe, Vhiskeyand other intox- 
icating Jiqtfors, and *y distributmg them- in the 
tribe, made drunkenness *rtd scenes of debauchery 
<*Hfcmon. iMafck HartFk and the ather chiefs tff -the 


^raMMWw xfonh Asdriostf €wM%6if #fa? % *Q*GP vSL T * 


band, remonstrated against these encroachments, 
and especially in regard to the introduction of spiri- 
tuous liquors among their people: and, upon one oc- 
casion, when a white man continued, openLy, to 
sett whiskey to thorny the old chief, taking with him 
one or two companions, went to his house, rolled 
ouf the barrel of whiskey, broke in the head, and 
emptied its contents upon the ground, in presence 
- of the*6wner. This wafr done, as he alleges, from 
the fear that some of the white persons would be 
killed by his people when in a state of intoxication. 
Thus things wore on until 1827. During that win- 
ter, while the Indians were making their periodical 
'hunt, some, of the whites, in the hope of expediting 
their removal to the irtrest side of the Mississippi, 
set on fire, in one day, about forty of their lodges, 4. 
number of which were entirely consumed. When 
the Indians returned ifi the spring and demanded 
satisfaction for the destruction of their property, 
they were met by new insults and .outrages. 

In the summer of Idflfi, Blaek Hawk^ happened 
to meet, at Rock island, with, the- late gpyerpor 
• Coles, of whom he had heard as a great, chief of 
Illinois, in company ;..witi»" another chief' as he 
calls him— Judge Hall*. Having failed in his ap- 
peals to the Indian agents, for jedress of the griev- 
ances of his people, he detonsained to apply to these 
two chiefs, on the subject, *&$ accordingly watted 
upon them for that purpose* > -.. :-,.■■" 

"♦He spoke of the indignity perpetrated upon 
himself, (his having been beaten with sticks by the 
whites,). wHhth^^lii^.^t a,j«spepteblq person 

tin or 0U0K. JtAWK.i UU 

auomg us would have shown undo* such circum 
stances* and pointing. to : a hlack mark on. his face, 
said that he wore it as a symbol of disgrace, The 
custom*, of r his nation required, that he. should 
a?veage ; tiie wrong, that be had receiyed, ; . but ; he 
chose, rathe? to submit to it for .the present than 
intiotoe thepa in e war. And this was the ojnly al-. 
tentative, for if an Indian should kill, or even strike, 
a; white man, the aggression would be eagerly seiz- 
ed upon and exaggerated; the whole frontier popu-* 
lation would rush to war, and the Indians would 
be hunted from their houses like wild beasts. . Ife 
spoke of the intrusion upon their fields, the destruc*, 
tion of their growing, corn, the ploughing up. of the 
graves of their fathers, and the beating, of their, 
women; and added," we dare not resent any of 
these things. If we did, it would be said r th^. the, 
Indiana .veie disturbing the white people, apd 
troops would be sent out tQ destroy us." We en- 
quired, " why. do you not represent these .things to 
our government*? — the President?. is a.wjge.and a 
gopd. ruler* who. would protect ypp*" .. ".Our great 
father is too fer off, ,he> cannot hear our. voiced' 
"^Butyouf could baye. letters written andsejit tp 
him*" ;«&> we could,"; w**, &s x epljfc, " but th$ 
white men would write letters, anci say that we 
told lies. Q»r great father wairid not beli^ye^an 
Indian, in preferaaeetp ^.^^^ c^^^^^ Black 
Hawk in ref^remje ;r to ibis ipteryiew,' sayp, ".]}tfei. 
ttar of them could; d^sny tbi*g for us; but both 

m ■ *X 't xi o'j.., „.JV - 1 - ?t ' ■ ' ' ' ■ ' ^-"'i ' -p Tr'.V'i- ; ' . ■* 


1 Ot \ LIT* *r IUCK HAWK. 

evidently iffpeared very sorry. It would gi» mo 
great pleasure at all titties, to take these two chief* 
by the .hand." 

Under the seventh article of the treaty made at 
St Louis -in 1804, it is provided tha',«*8kmgasthe 
lands which are now ceded to the United States re* 
main their property, the Indians, belonging to the 
said tribes, shall enjoy the privilege of living and 
hunting upon them." It was not until the year, 
1829, that any part of the lands upon Rock river, 
Were brought into market by the United States. If 
follows as a matter of course, that all the whke 
settlers upon them prior to this period, were tres- 
passers, being there in violation of the laws of Con- 
gress, and the provisions of the treaty. Although 
the frontier settlements of Illinois, had not approach- 
ed within fifty or sixty miles of Rock river, and the 
hulds for a still greater distance around it, had not 
been offered for sale, yet in this year, government 
was induced to make sale of a few quarter sections, 
at the mouth of Rock river, including the Sac vil- 
lage. The reason for this uncalled for measure, is 
obvious — to evade life provisions of the foregoing 
treaty of cession, and create a pretext for the im- 
HKfchate removal of the Indians to the West side of 
die Mississippi 

In the spring of 1830, when Blade Hawk and has 
band returned from their animal hunt, to occupy 
theSr lodges, and prepare as usual for raising their 
crop of vegetables, they found, that the land in and 
around their village, had been brought into market, 
and that theft tild friend, the trader at Hock Wand 


had purchased a considerable part of it. Black 
Hawk, greatly disturbed at this new condition of 
things, appealed to the agent at that place, who in- 
formed him, that the lands having been sold by 
government to individuals, he and his party had no 
longer any right to remain upon them. Black 
Hawk was still unwilling to assent to a removal, 
and in the course of the summer, he visited Maiden 
to consult his British father on the subject, and re- 
turned by Detroit to see the great American chief, 
Governor Cass, residing there. Both of these per- 
sons told him that if the Indians had not sold their 
lands and would remain quietly upon them, they 
would not be disturbed. Black Hawk, acting upon 
the assumption that the land on which their village 
stood, never had been legally sold to the United 
States, returned home determined to keep possession 
of it It was late in the fall when he arrived: his 
people had gone to their hunting grounds for the 
winter and he followed them. They made an un- 
successful hunt and the season passed off in gloom. 
Keokuk again exerted his influence to induce them to 
desert Black Hawk and remove to the Ioway. Such, 
howevev, was their attachment to their favorite vil- 
lage, that the whole band returned to it in the spring 
of 1831. The agent at Rock island forthwith notified 
them that if they did not remove from the land, 
troops would be sent by the United States to drive 
them oft Black Hawk says, he had a conference, 
about this time, with the trader at Rock Island, 
who enquired of him, if some terms could not be 
made, upon which he and his party would agree Ifc- 


remove to the west side of the Mississippi. To this 
he replied, that if his great father would do justice 
to them and make the proposition, they would re- 
move. He was asked by the trader, " if the great 
chief at St. Louis would give six thousand dollars, 
to purchase provisions and other articles," if he 
would give up peaceably and remove. To this he 
agreed. The trader accordingly sent a message to 
the agent at St. Louis, that Black Hawk, and his 
whole band, could be removed for the sum of six 
thousand dollars, but the answer was, that nothing 
would be given, and that if they did not remove 
immediately, an armed force would be sent to 
compel them. 

The squaws had now planted their corn, and it 
was beginning to grow, when the whites again 
commenced ploughing it up. Black Hawk at last 
determined to put a stop to these aggressions upon 
his people, and accordingly gave notice to those who 
were perpetrating them, that they must remove, 
forthwith, from his village. In the mean time, after 
the return of the Indians, which took place in April, 
eight of the white settlers united in a memorial to the 
Executive of the state of Illinois, in which they set 
forth that the Sac Indians of Rock river had "threat- 
ened to kill them; that they had acted in a most out- 
rageous manner; threw down their .fences,. turned 
horses into their corn-fields, stole their potatoes, say- 
ing the land was theirs and that they had not sold 
it, — although said deponents had purchased the land 
of the United States' government: levelled deadly 
weapons at the citizens, and on some occasions hurt 

UFE #F A 9L4CK HAW**. 109 

sg^ pitizens for attempting to prevent the destrue- 
fion of theJir property," fcx, &c. The memorial con- 
cludes with ,the. still more startling outrage, that the 
raid Indians went " to a house, roiled out a barrel 
of whiskey and destroyed it." One of these eight 
affli<^,meinorialists, swore the other seven to the 
truth of their statements, and with an earnest prayer 
far immediate relief, it was placed before his Ex- 
cellencyy on the 19th of May. 

.This long catalogue of outrages, backed by other 
memorials., aim divers rumovs of border depreda- 
tions, committed by " General Black Hawk" and his 
«. British Band," called into immediate action the 
patriotism and official power of the Governor*. IT*- 
<fcr daje of pellville, May 26, 1831, he writes, to ,the 
superintendent of Indian affairs, General William 
Cl^rk, at St, Louis, that in order to protect the citi- 
zens of Illinois, which he considered in a state of 
"actual invasion," he had called*out seven hundred 
militia ; $* remove a band of Sac Indians,, then xe«r 
Riding, firt, Rock river, and he pledges himself to the 
^lpenntendent, that iii fifteen days he will have a 
force in the fields sufficient Jo " remove them dead 
or alive, over to the west side of the Mississippi/' 
Qirt to ?ave .all. this disagreeable business, his Ex* 
oelleney suggests to .General Clark that perhaps a 
request from him to these Indians, to remove to the 
west side .pfr the river, would effect the object of 
pouring peace to the citizens of itfye state. The 
letter .conclude with the magnanimous declaration 
that there is no disposition on the part of .the people. 

W* hi** >e»> MAck 1 tiAtdt: 

ofthc Stattfof IHiiiois to injtire 'thete tmfortuiiata£ 
deluded tet agfc3, * if they Will let us alone." : * ? 

General Clark, under date of St. Loufe,^8 iSfay; 
r831, acknowledges the receipt of *he above letter'; 
tad days, that he had already made- every effort in 
hitf power, to get all the Indians who had '^ceded 
tfiair lands toremove. 

On the" same dAy, 2€lth May, 1831, Governof 
Reynolds writes to General Gaines, then at St: 
Louis, that he* "had received information that Black 
Hawk and his band had 4 invaded the state of HKi 
ndis; : and that he had called out seven hundred 
troops to meet them. General Gaines, on the £9th 
of May, replies to his Excellency that he had or- 
dered six companies of United States troops from 
Jefferson Barracks to Rock Island ? and that they 
would be joined' By four other companies from 
Prairie des Ohiens, making in all ten companies; a 
force which he dsemed sufficient to repel the in 
vasioh and give security to 1 the frontier: That if the 
residue of "the Sacs and Foxes, or other trite* 
dhdnld unite With the band; of Black Hawk, ho 
would call on Ms Excellency* for some militia, but 
did not then' deem it necessary. ■*.■■" 

- On the 30th of 1 May, the troops, accompanied by 
General Gaines, left Jefferson barracks, in a steam 
boat^ for Port 1 Annstrong; and, upon the : fth of 
Jline, the. commanding • general held a* council on 
Rock island, at Which Black Hawk 'and some of 
his bfltves were present. Keokuk, Wa-peUo and 
other chiefs from the west side 6( the Mississippi 
were also in attendance. When the council was 


opened, General Gaines rose and stated that the 
President was displeased with the refusal of the 
Sacs of Rock river, to go to the right bank of the 
Mississippi, that their great father wanted only that 
which was reasonable and right, and insisted that 
they should remove. Black Hawk replied, in sub- 
stance, that the Sacs had never sold their lands and 
were determined to hold on to their village. Gen 
era! Qaines inquired, u whp is Black Hawk ? Is he 
a chief ? By what right does he appear in council ?" 
No reply was made; Black Hawk arose, gather- 
ed his blanket around him, and stalked out of the 
council room. On the following morning he was 
again in bis seat, and when the council was opened, 
he arose and said, " My father, you inquired yes- 
terday, 'fwho is Black Hawk? why does he sit 
among the chiefs ?" I will tell you who I am. 
I am a Sac, my father was a. Sac — I am a warrior 
and so was my father. Ask those young men, who 
have followed me to battle, and they will tell you 
whp Black Hawk is— provoke our people to war, 
and you will learn who Black Hawk is." He then 
sat .down, and nothing more was said on the sub- 
ject. The result of this conference was, that Black 
Hawk refused to leave his village, and that General 
Gaines informed him and his party, if they were 
not on the West side of the Mississippi within a few 
days, he should be compelled to remove them by 
jqrce. The General anxious, if possible, to efFect 
the object without bloodshed, deemed it expedient 
to increase his forces, that the Indians might be in- 
timidated, and thus induced to submit; or, in case 


of a resort to hostile measures, that he might be 
fully prepared to act with efficiency. He according- 
ly called upon the Governor of Illinois for some 
militia, to co-operate with the United States' troops 
under his command. On the 25th of June, Gover- 
nor Reynolds, and General Joseph Duncan with 
1600 mounted militiamen, principally volunteers, 
reached Rock river. On the morning of the 26th, 
General Gaines with his combined forces, took p6s- 
session of the Sac village without firing a gun or 
finding an Indian; the whole party, with their 
wives and children, having crossed over the Missis- 
sippi the previous night. On the following day 
they were found on the west bank of that stream, ' 
encamped under the protection of a white flag. 

On the 30th of June, General Gaines and Gover- 
nor Reynolds sigtfed a treaty of capitulation and 
peace, with Black Hawk, Pa-she-pa-how, Wee- 
sheat, Kah-ke-ka-mah, and other chiefs and head 
men of the British band of Sac Indians, and their' 
old allies of the Winnebago, Pottawatamie and 
Kickapop nations. The preamble to this treaty is * 
worthy of preservation. It is in these words. 

""Whereas, the British Band of Sac Indians, 
have in violation of the several treaties, entered 
into "between the United States and the Sac and. 
Fox nations, in the year 1804, 1816 and 1825, con- 
tinued to remain upon and to cultivate the lands 
on Rock* river, ceded to the United States by said 
treaties, after the said lands had been sold by the 
United States, to individual citizens of Illinois and 
other states: and whereas the said British Band of 


Sac Indians, in order to sustain their pretensions to 
continue upon said RocE river lands, have assum- 
ed the attitude of actual hostility towards the Uni- 
ted States, and have had the audacity to drive citi- 
zens of the state of Illinois from their homes, des- 
troy their corn, and invite many of their old friends 
of the Pottawatamies, Winnebagoes, and Eicka- 
poos, to unite with them the said British band of 
Sacs, in war, to prevent their removal from said 
lands: and whereas many of the most disorderly 
of these several tribes of Indians, did actually join 
the said British band of Sac Indians prepared for 
war against the United States, and more particular- 
ly against the state of Illinois; from which purpose 
they confess nothing could have restrained them, 
but the apprehension of force far exceeding the 
combined strength of the said British Band of Sac 
Indians, with such of their aforesaid allies, as had 
actually joined them; but being now convinced 
that such a war would tend speedily to annihilate 
them, they have voluntarily abandoned their hos- 
tile attitude and sued for peace." Therefore, &c. 

The first article stipulates that peace is granted 
by the United States to the British Band of Sac In- 
dians—the second that they are required to submit 
to the chiefs of the Sac and Foi nations, who reside 
on the west side of the Mississippi— the third that 
the United States guaranty to them the integrity 
of their lands west of that river under the treaties 
of 1825 and 1830— the fourth that the said British 
Band shall not trade with any nation but the Uni- 
ted States— that the United States have a right to 
• ., .. K > - - 


establish military posts and roads within their 
country — the sixth that the chiefs and head men of 
the Sac and Fox nations shall Enforce the; provis- 
ions of this treaty — and finally that permanent 
peace and friendship be established between the 
United States and the said British Band of , Sac In- 
dians, and that the latter are not to return to the 
east side of the Mississippi without the permissicfc. 
of the former. 

Hie commanding General, under date of sixth of 
July, 1831, informs the war department, that, "The 
mounted volunteers, the regulars, two pieces of ar- 
tillery, and some musquetry and riflemen, induced 
the Indians to abandon the village before our arriv- 
al, without firing a gun. Deserted by their allies, 
this disorderly band was left alone to seek security 
in a speedy flight to the right bank of the Mississip- 
pi, where they were found the next day, under the 
protection of a white flag." Governor Reynolds 
in his official despatch to the same department, un- 
der date of Belleville. Ill 7th July 1831, says: 

« The Indians with some exceptions, from Can- 
ada to Mexico, along the northern frontier of the 
United States, are more hostile to the whites, than, 
at any other period since the last war; particularly 
the band of Sac Indian*, usually and truly called the 
" British Band/' became extremely unfriendly to 
the citizens of Illinois and others. This band had 
determined for some years past to. remain at all 
hazards, on certain lands which had been purchased 
oy the United States, and afterwards some of them 
sold to private individuals by the general govern- 


ijaent. They also determined to drive off the citi- 
zens from this disputed territory. In order to effect 
this object, they committed various outrages on the 
persons and property of the citizens of this state. 
That this band might the more effectually resist all 
force that would be employed against them, they 
treated with many other tribes to combine together 
for the purpose of aiding this British Band to con- 
tinue in possession of the country in question." 
General William Clark, the Indian agent at St. 
Louis, in his official communication to the depart- 
inent, says, "The disaffected Sacs were depending 
for an increase to their number from the discontent- 
ed parts of the Kickapoos, Pottawatamies and 
Wiunebagoes," and that they exhibited a daring 
opposition, &c. &c. 

From the tone and pomposity of these docu- 
ments, commencing with Governor Reynold's an- 
nunciation to General Clark, that Illinois was in a 
state ot"; actual invasion," and ending with the let- 
ters to the war department, just cited, it might ap- 
pear, to one not familiar with the facts in the case, 
that a powerful confederacy of warliko Indians, af- 
ter years of secret preparation, had made a sudden 
and bold desctent upon the state of Illinois, and 
were about to carry war and desolation throughout 
the frontiers--Tto make the heavens lurid with the 
conflagration of dwelling houses, and the air reson- 
ant with the wails of women and children sinking 
beneath the murderous tomahawk: and, that this 
banded horde of northern savages, had been suc- 
cessfully met, captured or dispersed, by the patriot- 


ism, valor and overwhelming power of the com- 
bined army of the United States and the militia of 
Illinois! And yet, will it be credited by posterity, 
that this " actual invasion" of the state, fierce and 
appalling as it has been represented, consisted 
simply in this: a part of the Sac tribe of Indians, 
residing within the boundaries of Illinois, at their 
village on Rock river, where they were bom and 
had lived all their lives, refused to give up their 
corn-fields to some white men, who had purchased 
the same, under a sale made by the government of 
the United States for the purpose of a technical 
evasion of one of its own treaties. In short, thus 
far, it was little more than a neighborhood quarrel 
between the squaws of the "British Band" of In* 
dians, and a few white settlers, — most of whom 
were there in violation of the laws of the country 
— about the occupancy of some corn-fields, which, 
from time immemorial, had been annually cultivat- 
ed by the Indian women. Black Hawk became 
excited by these outrages, as he deemed them, tip- 
on the rights of his people; but instead of killing 
every white man in his vicinity, which he could 
have done in one night, he simply commanded 
them to leave his village: and threatened in case 
they did not, to remove them by force. Such is the 
substance of the "actual invasion" of the state of 
Illinois, by the British Band of Sac Indians. 

It is alledged, however, by the defenders of this 
memorable campaign, that this band of Sacs had, 
in violation of the treaties of 1804, 1816 and 1825, 
continued to remain upon and cultivate the land 


oil Rock river, ceded to the United States, after it 
had been sold by the United States to individ- 
ual citizens of Illinois and other states — that they 
had refused positively to remove to the west 
side of the Mississippi — that they had endeavored 
to persuade some of the neighboring tribes to 
unite with them in defending this land against 
the rightful occupancy of the white purchasers— 
that they had " threatened to kill" them — « thrown 
down their fences" — on " some occasions "hurt" 
said settlers — " stole their potatoes" saying they 
had not sold these lands — otherwise "acted in 
a most outrageous manner," and finally, in the 
Words of the capitulation on the 30th June, 1831, 
"assumed the attitude of actual hostility towards 
the United States, and had the audacity to drive cit- 
izens of the state of 'Illinois, from their homes." 
Admitting these allegations to be true,- what may 
be said in behalf of tfie party against which they 
are made ? It may be replied, that under the treaty 
of 1804, the Indians had an undoubted right to 
« live and hunt" upon the land ceded by that trea- 
ty, so long as it remained the property of the Uni- 
ted States: that as early as 1823-4 the whites had 
intruded upon the land x>n Rock river around the 
principal village of the Sacs and Fo&es — the Uni- 
ted States neglecting to have these intruders remov- 
ed, as by the treaty they were solemnly bound to 
do: that these whites frequently beat the Indian 
men, women, and children with sticks, destroyed 
their cbm fields, distributed whiskey among them, 

cheated them out of their ftirs and pel trie* and on 


one occasion, when the Indians were absent on * 
hunting excursion, set fire to some thirty or forty of 
their lodges, by which many of them were totally 

These outrages were perpetrated before a single 
acre of the land upon Rock river, had been sold 
by the United States, and when in fact, the regular 
frontier settlements of Illinois, had not approached 
within fifty miles of the Sac Tillage. Consequent- 
ly they were committed in express violation of 
the most solemn treaties and of the laws of the 
United States, for the protection of the Indians. 
In 1829, clearly with a view, on the part of those who 
brought about the measure, of evading the force 
of that article of the treaty of 1804, which permitted 
the Indians to live and hunt upon these lands, so long 
as they remained the property of the United States, 
a few quarter sections were sold, on Rock river, in^ 
eluding the Sac village. New insults and outrages 
were now offered to the Indians, and they were 
again ordered to remove, not from the quarter sec- ' 
tions which had actually been sold, but to the 
west side of the Mississippi Against this, they re- 
monstrated and finally refused, positively, to be 
driven away. The results of this refusal have al- 
ready been shown in the narration which has been 
made of the events JbUowing upon the " actual in- 
vasion " of the state of Illinois, in the spring of 
1831. But it has been said that these Indians en- 
deavored to form an alliance with some of the 
neighboring tribes to defend their lands. There is 
to doubt that Blade Hawk labored to persuade 

L1VK or BLACK XAWK. its 

Keokuk and the Sac Indians residing with him, to 
return to the east side of the Mississippi and assist 
in defending their village. His effort to unite with 
him, in alliance against the United States, the Win- 
nebagoes, Pottawotamies and Kkkapoos, was, pro- 
bably for the same 'object, though the case is not 
90 clearly made out Mr. Schoolcraft in his "Nar- 
rative" speaks of a war message having been 
transmitted to the Torch lake Indians, by Black 
Hawk, or bis counsellors, in 1830, and repeated in 
the two succeeding years; and adds that similar 
communications were made to other tribes. The 
message, continues Mr. Schoolcraft, was very equiv- 
ocal. It invited these tribes to aid the Sacs in 
lighting their enemies. Whatever may have been 
the object, no success attended the effort Other 
-motives than that of retaining possession of these 
lands, may have prompted Black Hawk to seek 
this alliance. Being an ambitious, restless man, he 
may have thought it expedient to do something to 
keep himself in power with his people. A milita- 
ry campaign is occasionally a fortunate circum- 
stance for a politician, whether his skin be red or 
white. Gunpowder-popularity is of equal impor- 
tance to the chiefs of the Sacs and the chiefs of the 
IllmL An "actual invasion "of a state— which, 
in these modem times, is supposed to consist in 
«level&i£ deadly weapons" at the inhabitants 
thereof, and « stealing their potatoes/' is quite a 
wind-felt to political aspirants. 

That the British Band ofrSac Indians cherished 
the feettog of active hostttty towards the whites, 


that has been attributed tor ihen^iimKf vd H 
questioned. That they were provoked to a feefak 
assertion of* their rights by, the justice of our 
government and the lawless conduct of the whit* 
settlers araotig them, is unquestionably tirue. But it 
should be recollected, that from the period of theit 
ttteaty with the United States, in 1816^ to their 
capitulation in 1831, they had not killed one of our 
people. For a nfimber of years prior to 1831, the 
Americans had constantly passed through 4h*v 
*country, unarmed, carrying with them darge 
amounts of money and of goods, for the trade' at 
the lead mines: and yet not one of these travellers, 
sleeping in the woods and the Indian lodges, had 
been molested in perdon or property. : For several 
years, the whites residing at and around the Sab 
village on Rock river were trespassing upon these 
Indians, for the purpose of driving them to the- weal 
side of the Mississippi^ but still the tomahatvk was 
sot raised for retaliation. If Black Hawk and his. 
party, had really intended to resort to arms, who 
that understands the Indian character, can doubt 
for a moment* that they would have struck, a de- 
cisive blow>and murdered every white: settler upon 
Rock river, before General' Gaines ascended ths 
Mississippi ? After our army reached Fort Arm- 
strong and General Gaines kai beea informed by 
Blade Hawk that he would mot pemove, he gave 
orders to his braves, that if the American war chief 
came to the village to force them away, not a gun 
should be fired, nor any resistance offered; hut that 
.they must remain quwrflyia their lodges jwid let 4hs 


war chief kill them if he chose. Under these cir- 
cumstances, it is as difficult to believe th#t Black 
Hawk and his band seriously intended to make 
war upon the whites at that time, as it is to admit 
that the United States" had 1 a right to force the In- 
dians to remove to the west side of the Mississippi, 
because a few quarter sections of the land at the 
mouth of Rock river, had been prematurely sold; 
while millions of acres around, were still the pro- 
perty of the United States, and as such, under the 
treaty of 1804, the Indians were expressly permitted 
to Jive and hunt upon themJ 

In the course of this narrative, frequent mention 
has'jbeen nfrade of the leading chief of the Sac na- 
tion, who is hfghly distinguished by his influence, 
pacific character and fine talents. The relation he 
sustains to Black Hawk and his band, connects 
him directly with our narrative. On this account, m 
as well as to gratify the interest which is felt in his 
history^ the succeeding chapter will be occupied 
with a; brief sketch of the life and adventures, of 
Keokuk, the Watchful Fox. 




Keokuk** birth-— Kills a Sioux when fifteen years old— Prevent* the 
abandonment of tbe. Sec village — Bold manoeuvre with the Sioux- 
Perils Jris life for the safety of hit people— Speech to theMeito- 

. minies at Prairie des Chiena*-Called upon to lead hit braves to join 
in the Black Hawk war — Allays the excitement of his people on this 
subject— Deposed from his post as head chief and a young man elect- 
ed in his place — Re-established in power — Delivers up his nephew te 
, the whites to be tried for murder— Letter to the Governor ot' Illinois 
— Council at Washington in 1837 — Retorts* upon the Sioux — Hiis 
visit to Boston — His return home — His personal appearance— An! 
his character as a war and peace chie£ 

It is no easy task to present in a satisfactory 
manner, a biographical sketch of an Indian. How- 
ever eventful his life may have been, it is only a 
few of the more prominent of his deeds which be- 
come known to the world; while the minor inci- 
dents, those small matters, which make up tbe suxti 
of human character, pass unobserved by his com- 
panions, or if noticed, are soon forgotten. Th* 
subject pf the present chapter, is yet in the meridian 
of life, high in power, and in the enjoyment of a 
distinguished reputation. Yet the materials for 
estimating his character, and for tracing his pro- 
gress, step by step, from the obscurity of a private 
station to the most honorable j>ost in the nation 
over which he now presides, are neither full nor 
satisfactory. Barely enough is known of him, 



throughout the United States,, to create the desire 
to know more; and it is to be regretted that the 
means of gratifying this laudable curiosity, are 
not more abundant. 

Keokuk is a native of the Sac nation of Indians, 
and was born near or upon Rock river in the north 
western part of what no w institutes the state of 
Illinois, about the year 1780. He is not a hereditary 
chief, and consequently has risen to his present ele- 
vation by the force of talent and of enterprize. He 
began to manifest these qualities at a very early 
period of his life. While but a youth he performed 
an act, which placed him, as it were by brevet, in 
the ranks of manhood. In the first battle in which 
he engaged, he encountered and killed a Sioux 
warrior, with his spear, while on horseback; and 
as the Sioux are distinguished for their horseman- 
ship, this was looked upon as so great an achieve- 
ment, that a public feast was made in commemora- 
tion of it, by his tribe; and the youthful Keokuk, 
was forthwith admitted to all the rights and privi- 
leges of a Brave. It was further allowed, that ever 
afterwards, on all public occasions, he might appear 
on horseback, even, if the rest of the chiefs and 
braves were not mounted. 

During the late war between the United States 
and Great Britain, and before Keokuk was entitled 
to take his seat in the councils of his nation, an ex- 
pedition was sent by pur government, to destroy the 
Indian village at Peoria, on the Illinois river. A 
rumor readied the Sac village, in which he resided, 
that this expedition was also to attack the Sacs; 


and the whole tribe was thrown into consternation. 
The Indians were panic stricken, and the council 
hastily determined to abandon their village Keo- 
kuk happened to be standing near the council- 
lodge when this decision was made. It was no 
sooner announced than he boldly advanced to the 
door and requested admission. It was granted. 
He asked leave to speak, and permission was given 
him. He commenced by saying he had heard with 
deep regret, the decision of the council — that he 
himself was wholly opposed to flight, before an en- 
emy still distant, and whose strength was entirely 
unknown. He called the attention of the council 
to the importance of meeting the enemy in their 
approach — of harassing their progress — cutting 
them off* in detail — of chiving them back, or of nobly- 
dying in defence of their country and their homes. 

" Make me your leader," he boldly exclaimed; 
" let our young men follow me, and the pale-faces 
shall be driven back to their towns. Let the old 
men and the women, and all who are afraid to 
meet the white man, stay here, but let your braves 
go to battle." Such intrepid conduct, could not 
fail to produce its effect upon a race so excitable as 
the Indians. The warriors with one voice, declar- 
ed they were ready to follow Keokuk; and he was 
at once chosen to lead them against the enemy. 
It turned out, however, that the alarm was false, 
but the eloquence of Keokuk in the council, and his 
energy in preparing for the expedition, placed him 
at once in the first rank of the braves. 

His military reputation, was, on another occa- 


non, much increased, by the skill and promptness 
with which ho met a sudden emergency on the 
battle field. With a party of his braves, Keokuk 
was hunting in the country which lies between the 
residence of .the Sacs and that of the Sioux, betwixt 
whom, for many years, a deadly hatred had ex- 
isted. Very unexpectedly, a party of the latter 
well mounted, came upon them. The Sacs were 
also, on horseback, but their enemies being superior 
horsemen and fully equipped for war, had a decid- 
ed advantage. There was no covert from behind 
which the Sacs could fight, and flight was impos- 
sible. Keokuk's mode of defence was as novel as 
ingenious. . He 'instantly formed his men into a 
compact circle, ordered them to dismount, and take 
shelter behind their horses, by which movement 
they were protected from the missiles of the Sioux, 
and at the same time placed under circumstances 
m which they could avail themselves of theix supe- 
riority as marksmen. The Sioux, raising the war- 
whoop, charged upon their entrenched foe with 
great fury, but were received with a fire so de- 
structive that they were compelled to fall back. 
The attack was v repeated but -with the same result. 
The horses could not be forced^ upon those whose . 
guns were pouring forth vollies of fire and smoke ; 
and after several unsuccessful attempts to break the 
line, the Sioux retreated with considerable loss. 

At a subsequent period, during a cessation of 

hostilities between these tribes, the Sacs had gone 

to the prairies to hunt buffalo, leaving their village 

but slightly protected by braves. J>mn£ the hunt 

6 L 


Keokuk and his band, unexpectedly approached an 
encampment of a large number of Sioux* painted 
for war, and evidently on their way to attach his 
village. . His own -braves were widely scattered 
over the extensive plains, and could not be speedi- 
ly gathered together. Possessing the spirit of a 
fearless and generous mind, he instantly resolved 
upon the bold expedient of throwing himself be- 
tween the impending danger and his people. Un- 
attended, he deliberately rode into the camp of his 
enemy. In the midst of their lodges rose the war- 
pole, and around it the Sioux were dancing, and 
partaking of those fierce excitements, by means of 
which the Indians usually prepare themselves foir^ 
battle. It happened that revenge upon the Sacs 
constituted the burden of their songs, at the mo- 
ment of Keokuk's approach. He dashed into th^ 
midst of them and boldly demanded to see their 
chief " I have come," said he, "to let yon know 
that there are traitors in your camp: they have told 
me that you are preparing to attack my village: I 
know they told me lies, for you could not, aftcfc 
smoking the pipe of peace, be so base as to murder 
my women and children in my absence. None but 
cowards would be guilty of such conduct" When 
the first feeling of amazement began to subside, 
the Sioux crowded around him in a manner evinc- 
ing a determination to seize his person, and they 
had already laid hold of his- legs, when he added, 
in a loud voice, « I supposed they told me lies, but 
if what I have heard is true, then the Sacs are rea- 
dy for you." With a sudden effort, he dashed 


'■ ♦ 

, fKEXCHtB OF . KEOKVK. r J $6 

S^e those who had seized him, plurjged: his spujs 
into his gallant horse, and rode off at full spedd. 
Several gups were discharged at him, but fprtunate- 
Ty. without effept: a number of the Sioux warriprjs 
instantly sprung upon their horses and pursued 
him, but in n vain. Keokuk, on horseback,, was in 
his Element; he made the woods resound with the 
war-whoop, and brandishing his tomahawk in de- 
fiance of his foes, soon left them. fax. behind, and 
joined his little party of braves.. His pursuers, 
tearful of some stratagem, gave up the pursuit,, af- 
ter haying followed him for some distance, and 
retired to their camp. Keokuk took immediate 
steps to call in his braves and speedily returned to 
protect his village. His enemies, however, finding 
themselves discovered, abandoned the contempla- 
ted attack and retraced their steps to their owji 

The eloquence of Keokuk and his sagacity in the 
civil affairs of his uation, are, like his military tal- 
ents, of a high order. One or two cases in which 
Jthese have been exhibited, are worthy of being re- 
tried. A few years since, some of his warriors 
fell in with a party* of unarmed Menominies, at 
Prairie des Chiens, in sight of fort Crawford, and 
murdered the whole of them. Justly incensed at 
this outrage, the Menorninies prepared to take up 
arms against the Sacs, aud prevailed upon the 
^Vinneb?igoes to join them. For the purpose of al- 
laying the rising storm, the United States' agent, at 
P rairie des Chiens, General Street, invited the sever- 
al Bart^.tcj^coiw^il at th^t ptyce/or the, purppsa 
i? """■'"■ 


of adjusting the difficulty, without a resort to arms. 
They accordingly, out of respect to the agent, assetii- 
bled at fort Crawford, but the Menominies refused, 
sternly, to hold any conference- with the Sacs on the 
subject Keokuk told the agent not to be discour- 
aged, for he would adjust the difficulty with them, 
before they separated, in despite of their prejudi- 
ces and their positive refusal to treat: He only ask- 
ed an opportunity of meeting them face to face in 
the council-lodge. The tribes were brought to- 
gether, but the Menominies persevered in their deter- 
mination to hold no conference with the Sacs. The 
negotiation proceeded, and a friendly feeling was 
re-established between the Whmebagoes and tho 
Sacs. Keokuk then rose and with much delibera 
tion, began his address to the Menominies. At 
first they averted their faces or listened with 
looks of defiance. He had commenced his speech 
without smoking the pipe or shaking hands, which 
was a breach of etiquette; and, above all, he was 
the chief of a tribe that had inflicted upon them an 
injury, for which blood alone could atone. Under 
these discouraging circumstances, Keokuk proceed- 
ed, in his forcible, persuasive and impressive man- 
ner. Such was the touching character of his ap- 
peal, such the power of his eloquence, that the fea- 
tures of his enemies gradually relaxed; they listen- 
ed; they assented; and when he concluded by re- 
marking, proudly, but in a conciliating tone, "I 
came here to say that I am sorry for the impru- 
dence of my young men; I came to make peace; I 
now offer you the handof Keokuk; who will refuse 


it ?" they rose one by one and accepted the proffer- 
ed grasp. 

In the late contest between the United States and 
Black Hawk's band, B^eokuk and a majority of the 
Sacs and Foxes, took no part. Black Hawk made 
several efforts to induce them to unite against 
the whites, which they were strongly inclined to 
do, not only from their love of war and of plunder 
but on account of the injustice with which very 
many of them believed they had been treated by 
the people of the United States. It required all of 
Keokuk's influence and moderation to prevent, the 
whole nation from enlisting under the Black Hawk 
banner. He requested the agent of the American 
Government to send to his village, on the west side 
of the Mississippi, a white man who understood the 
Sac language, and who might bear witness to his, 
Keokuk's sincerity and faithfulness to the whites. 
Such a person was sent. The excitement raised 
by Black Hawk and the war in which he was 
engaged, continued to increase among Keolmk's 
people. "-He 'stood on a mine, liable to be explo- 
ded by a single spark. He was in peril of being 
slain as the friend of the whites. He remained 
calm and una wed, ruling his turbulent little state 
with mildness and firmness, but at the constant risk 
of his, life. One day, a new emissary arrived from 
Black Hawk's party. Whiskey was introduced in- 
to the camp, and Keokuk saw that the crisis was at 
hand. He warned the white man who was his 
guest, of the impending danger, and advised him 
o conceal himself. A scene of tumult ensued. 


The emissary spoke of blood that had been ;shed 
-i-of their relations being driven from their hunt- 
ing grounds — of recent insults— of injuries long in- 
flicted by the whites — hinted at the ready vcngeajice 
that might be taken on an exposed frontier— df de- 
fenceless cabins — and of rich booty. The desired 
effect was produced. The braves began to dance 
around the war pole, to paint and to give other evi- 
dences of a warlike character. Keokuk watched 
the rising storm and appeared to mingle in it. He 
drank and listened and apparently assented to all 
that was said. At length his warriors called out 
to be led to battle, and he was asked to lead them. 
He arose and spoke with that power which held 
never failed him. He sympathized in their wrdngs 
— their thirst for vengeance — lie won their confi- 
dence by giving utterance to the passions by which 
they were moved, and echoing back their own 
thoughts with a master spirit. He then considered 
the proposition to go to War, alluded to the power 
of the whites — the hopelessness of the contest: He 
toMPthem he was their chief— that it was his duty 
to rule them as a father at home: to lead them to 
war if they determined to go. But in the propos- 
ed war, there was no middle course: The power of 
the United States was such, that unless they con* 
quered that great nation, they must perish; that he 
would lead them instantly against the whites on 
one condition, and that was, that they ^should' first 
put all their Women and children to death, and then 
resolve, that having crossed thef Mississippi, they 
would never return, but perish among the gravesoi 


their father^ rather than yield them to the white- 
men. Thi» proposal, desperate as it was, presented 
Ihe true issue; it calmed the disturbed passions- of 
his people, the turmoil subsided, order was restored 
and the authority of Keokuk, became for the time 
be ; ng firmly re-established."* 
: Black Hawk and his band have always been op- 
posed to Keokuk, and since the late war, whioh 
proved so disastrous to them, and into which they 
were plunged, in opposition to his counsel, they 
have looked upon him with increased aversion. 

They have made repeated efforts to destroy his 
influence with the remainder of tlie tribe, and owing 
to the monotony of his pacific rule, were, on one oc- 
casion, nearly successful, A spirit of discontent 
pervaded his peopler— they complained of the ex r 
tent of the power which he»dirielded — they needed 
excitement, and as his measures were all of a 
peaceful character, they sought it in a change of 
rulers. The matter was at length openly and for- 
mally discussed. The voice of the nation was 
taken, Keokuk was removed from his post of head 
jna«n and a young chief placed in his stead. He 
made not the smallest opposition to this measure of 
his people, but calmly awaited the result When 
his young successor was chosen, Keokuk was the 
fust to salute him with the title of Father. But the 
matter did not rest here. With, great courtesy, he 
begged to accompany the new chief to the agent of 
the . United States, then at Rock island; and with 

• James Hall, 'Eaq. 6* 

4$6 damns or radxtnt: 

profound respect, introduced him as his cfetef and 
his fathers-urged the agent to receive him as such, 
and solicited, as a personal favor, that the same re- 
gard that had ever been paid to him, by the whites, 
tnight be transferred to his worthy successor. The 
sequel may be readily inferred* The nation could 
not remain -%Knd to the error they had committed. 
Keokuk as a private individual was still the first 
tnan among his people. His ready and noble aci. 
'quiescence in their wishes, won both their sympathy 
and admiration. He rose rapidly but silently to 
his frirmer elevated station, while the young chief 
*uftk as rapidly to his former obscurity. 

Some time in 1832, five of the friendly Sacs be* 
longing to Keokuk's party, murdered & man by the 
name of Martin, in Warren county, Illinois. One 
of these, proved to foe a nephew of Keokuk, but 
by the orders of his unole,hewas seized and de- 
livered over to the civil authority of that state to be 
tried for the murder. The other four made their 
escapef. Some time afterwards, Keokuk was called 
upon to deliver up the other four Sacs, who had 
bfeen concerned in the outrage, that they also might 
be brought to justice. He replied that they were 
beydrid his reach, but that he would call a council 
of his head-men and take measures to give satisfac- 
tion to the whites. The council was held, and 
Keokuk stated the demand of their Great Father, 
the President; and that if satisfaction were not 
made to him, he feared an army would be sent in- 
to their country, and that many troubles would 
overtake them Immediately four young warriors 


arose and offered to be surrendered up to the 
whites, and suffer death in place of the real offen 
ders, to prevent their nation from incurring the dis- 
pleasure of the President. Keokuk, supposing that 
this would satisfy the demands of justice, delivered 
them up as the murderers and they were imprison* 
ed. Upon their trial, Keokuk was present, as a 
witness, fii giving his testimony, he stated with 
honest simplicity, that the young men then arraign 
ed in court, for the murder of Martin, were not the 
guilty ones, but they had agreed to die in place of 
the real murderers who could not be found. The 
prisoners were, as a matter of course, set at liberty. 
Some months after the close of the "Black Hawk 
war," Keokuk was informed that reports were in 
circulation, in the state of Illinois, that the Indians 
were dissatisfied and preparing for fresh hostilities. 
He dictated a letter to the Governor upon the sub- 
ject, which was forwarded to him. It is in these 

u Raccoon Foik of Des Moines river, Nov. 30, 1832. 
* To the Great Chief of Illinois. 

u I have been tolc^by a trader, that several of 
your village criers [editors] have been circulating 
bad news, informing the whites that the Indians 
are preparing for war, and that we are dissatisfied. 
My Father, you were present when the tomahawk 
was buried, and assisted me to place it so deep, 
that it will never again be raised against your 
white children of Illinois. 

" My Father* very few of that misguided band 


that entered Rock river last summer, remain. Ypu 
have humbled them by war, and have made tjiejn 
friendly by your generous conduct to them after 
they were defeated. 

" Myself and the greater part of. the Sacs and 
Foxes, have firmly held you by the hand: We fol- 
lowed your advice and did as you told us. My 
Father, take pity on those of my nation that you 
forgave, and never mention the disasters of last 
summer. I wish them to be forgotten. 

"I do not perniit the criers of our village or 
camps to proclaim any bad news against the whites, 
not even the truth. Last fall an old man, a Fox, 
was hunting on an island, a short distance below 
Rock river for turkeys to carry to Fort Armstrong: 
he was killed by a white man. My Father, we 
passed it over: we have only spoken of it in whis- 
pers; our agent has not heard of it We wish to 
live in friendship with the whitesj if a white man 
comes to our camp or village, we give him a share 
of what we have to eat, a lodging if he wants it, 
and put him on the trail if he has lost it. 

" My Father, advise the criers of your villages to 
tell the truth respecting us, and assist ii* strengthen- 
ing the chain .of friendship, that your children may 
treat us friendly when they meet us: and be assur- 
ed that we are friends, and have feelings as well as 
they have. . . ■ . \ 

." My Father, this is all I have to say at present. 
" Keokuk, Chief of the Sac nation." 

In the autumn of the year 1837, Keokuk and a 


party of his warriors made a visit to Washington 
city. Black Hawk was of the party, having beeu 
taken along, it is supposed by the politic Keokuk, 
lest in his absence, the restless spirit of the old 
man should create some new difficulties at home. 
We are indebted to a gentleman* who happened 
to be at the capital at the time of this visit, for the 
following sketch of a council, held under the direc- 
tion of the Secretary at War, Mr. Poinsett, for the 
laudable purpose of reconciling the long cherished 
feeling of hostility between the Sacs and Foxes, 
and the Sioux, — a deputation of chiefs from this 
latter nation being also at the seat of government. 
The council was held in a church. The Indians 
were seated on a platform erected for the purpose, 
the spectators occupying the. pews. The Secretary, 
representing the President, was seated on the center 
of the platform, feeing the audience — the Sioux on, 
his right hand and the Sauks and Foxes on his left, 
forming a semi-circle. " These hostile tribes, pre- 
sented in their appearance a remarkable contrast. 
The Sioux tricked out in blue coats, epaulettes, fur 
hats and various articles of finery, which had been 
presented to them, and which were now incongruous- 
ly worn in conjunction ..with portionsof their own 
proper costume; while the Saujdes and .Fo*:ep, 
with a commendable pride and good taste, wore 
their national dress, without any admixture, and 
were studiously painted according to their own no- 
ions of propriety. But the most striking object 


184 fiKicTCim or KKOKtn:. 

was Keokuk, who sat at the head of his delegation, 
on the extreme left, facing his mortal enemies the 
Sioux, who occupied the opposite side of the stage; 
having the audience upon his left side, and his own 
people on his right, and beyond themi the Secretary' 
at War; He sat grasping in his right hand the wai 
banner, the symbol of his station as ruling chief. 
His person was erect and his eye fixed calmly but 
steadily upon the enemies of his people. On the' 
floor, and leaning upon the knee of the chief, sat 
his son, a boy of nine or ten years old, whose fra- 
gile figure and innocent countenance, afforded a 
beautiful contrast with the athletic and warlike 
form and the intellectual though weather-beaten 
features of his father. The effect was in the highest 
degree picturesque and imposing. The council was 
opened by smoking the pipe, which was passed 
from mouth to mouth. The Secretary then briefly 
addressed both parties, in a conciliating strain, urg- 
ing them, in the name of their great father, the Pre- 
sident, to abandon those sanguinary wars, by means 
of which their race was becoming extinct, and to 
cultivate the arts, the thrift and industry of the 
white men. The Sioux spoke next. The orator, 
on rising first stepped forward, and shook hands 
with the Secretary, and then delivered his harangue 
in his own tongue, stopping at the end of each sen- 
tence, until it was rendered into English by the in- 
terpreter, who stood by his side, and into the 
Saukie language by the interpreter of that tribe. 
Another and another followed, all speaking vehe- 
mently and with much acrimony. The burthen of 


their harangue was, the folly of addressing pacific 
language to the Sauks and Foxes, who were faith- 
less and in .whom no confidence could be placed* 
■* My father,' said one of them, 'you cannot make 
these people hear any good words unless you bore 
their ears with sticks.' < We have often made peace 
with them,' said another speaker, an old man, who 
endeavored to be witty, <but they would never ob- 
serve any treaty. I would as soon think of making a 
treaty with that child/ pointing to Keokuk's little 
boy, < as with a Saukie or Musquakee.' The Sioux 
were evidently gratified and excited by the sarcasms 
of their orators, while their opponents sat motion- 
less, their dark eyes flashing, but their features as 
composed and stolid, as if they did not understand 
that disparaging language that was used. We* re- 
marked a decided want of gracefulness in all these 
ispeakers. Each of them having shaken hands with 
the Secretary, who sat facing the audience, stood 
immediately before and near to him, with the inter- 
preter at his elbow, both having their backs to the 
spectators; and in this awkward position, speaking 
tow and rapidly — but little of what they said could 
De heard except by the persons near them. Not so 
Keokuk. When it came to his turn to speak, he 
rose deliberately, advanced to the Secretary, and 
having saluted him, returned to his place, which 
being at the foot of the stage, and on one side of it, 
his face was not concealed from any of the several 
parties present. His interpreter stood beside him. 
The whole arrangement was judicious, and though 
apparently unstudied, shewed the tact of an o «oor. 

136 8WTCH£S : pE J&QjWfr 

He stood erect, in an easy, bat martial posture, 
with his robe, thrown over his left, shoulder and 
afm, leaving the right arm bare, to he used in ao 
Jjon. His voice was firm, his enunciation remark- 
ably clear,, distinct, and rapid. Those who have 
had the gratification of hearing a distinguished sea. 
ator from South Carolina, now in Congress, wiose 
rapidity of utterance, concentration of thought and 
CQnciseness of language, are alike peculiar to him- 
self may form .some idea of the style of Keokuk^ 
the , latter adding,, however, an attention to the 
graces of attitude and action, to which the former 
makes no pretension.. He spoke with dignity but 
gjreat animation, and some of his retorts were ex- 
cellent. < They tell you,' said he, < that our ears 
must be bored with sticks, but, my Father, you 
could not penetrate their thick skulls in: that way- 
it would require hot iron.' ' They say they would 
as soon make peace with a child, as with us, — they 
know better, for when they made war upon us they 
found us men.' { They tell you that peace has of- 
ten bepn made, and that we have broken it. How 
happens it then that so many of their braves have 
been slain in our country ? I will tell you — they 
invaded usj we never invaded them: none of my 
braves have been killed in their land. .We nave 
their scalps and can tell where we took them.* 

" As we have given the palm to, Keokuk, at this 
meeting, we must In justice to the Sioux* mention 
an eloquent .reply, made by one of the same party, 
on a different day. The Secretary at War, met the 
Sioux delegation in council to treat for the purchase 


of some of their territory. A certain sum of money 
being offered them for £he land, they demanded a 
greater price. They were then told that the Ameri- 
cans were a great people, who would not traffic 
with them like a trader — that the President had 
satisfied himself as to the value of the territory, and 
offered them the full price. Big Thunder, a son of 
the Little Crow, replied that the Sioux were a great 
nation, and could not, like a trader, ask a plrice and 
then take less: and, then to illustrate the equality 
of dignity, between the high contracting parties, he 
used a figure, which struck us as eminently beauti- 
ful — 'the children of our white parent are very 
many, they possess all the country from the rising 
of the sim to noon-day: — the Sioux are very many, 
the land is all theirs from the noon-day to the setting 

After leaving Washington city, Keokuk, attend-" 
cd by his wife and son, four chiefs of the united 
Sac and Fox tribes, and several warriors among 
whom were Black Hawk and his son, proceeded 
as far north as Boston, and attracted in all the ci- 
ties through which they passed great attention. 
They wero met in Boston, with distinguished 
honors, being received by governor Everett on 
behalf of the state, and the mayor, on behalf of 
the city. The ceremony of receiving the Indians 
occurred on the 30th of October, and no public 
spectacle in the history of Boston, . ever assem- 
bled so great a number of its citizens. Between 
the hours of ten and twelve, the chiefs held a 
levee in Faneuil HaU, for the visits of the la- 


dies, exclusively, an immense concourse of whom, 
thronged the old » cradle of liberty ,, to look up- 
on the stranger guests. At £ o'clock, P. M. the 
chiefs were escorted by the Lancess to the State 
House, which was filled with ladies, the mem- 
bers of the legislature, the civil authorities, &c. 
Governor Everett, first addressed the audience, 
by giving them a brief .account of the different 
tribes represented by the Indian chiefs then present. 
Then turning to the Indians, he said, 

" Chiefs and warriors of the united Sac and Fox 
tribes, you are welcome to our hall of council. You 
have come a far way from your homes in the west 
to visit your white brethren. We are glad to take 
you by the hand. We have heard before of the 
Sacs and Foxes— our travellers have told us the 
names of their great men and chiefs. We are glad 
to see them with our own eyes. 

" We are called the Massachusetts. It is the name 
of the red men who once lived here. Informer times 
the red man's wigwam, stood on these fields, and 
his council fires were kindled on this spot. 

" When our fathers came over the great waters, 
they were a small band. The red man stood on 
the rock by the sea side, and looked at them. He 
might have pushed them into the water and drown- 
ed them; but he took hold of their bands and said, 
welcome, white man. Our fathers were hungry, 
and the red man gave them corn and venison. Our 
fathers were cold, and the red tnan spread his blan- 
ket over them and made them warm. 

' We are now growikgfeat and powerful, but we 


remember the kindness of the red man to our fathers. 

« Brothers, our faces are'pale and yours are red, 
btit our hearts are alike. The Great Spirit has made 
his children of different complexions, but he loves 
them all. 

" Brothers, you dwell between the Mississippi and 
the Missouri — they are mighty streams. They have 
great arms— ^ne stretches out to the. east and the 
other away west to the Rocky mountains. But they 
inake one river and they run together into the sea. 

" Brothers, we dwell in the east and you in the 
far west, but we are one family, of many branches 
but one head. 

" Brothers, as you passed through the hall below, 
you stopped to look at the great image of our fa- 
ther Washington. It is a cold stone and cannot 
speak to you. But our great father Washington 
loved his red children, and bade us love them also. 
He is dead but his words have made a great, print 
In our hearts, like the step of a strong buffalo on 
•the clay in the prairies. 

" My brother, (addressing Keokuk) I perceive by 
your side your young, child sitting in the council 
hall with you. May the Great Spirit preserve the 
life of your son. May he grow up by your side 
like the tender sapling by the side of the mighty 
oak. May you long flourish both together, and 
when the mighty oak is fallen in the forest, may the 
young tree take its place, and spread out its brandi- 
es over the tribe. . 

"Brothers, I make you a short talk, and bid you 
welcome dace more to our council hall/* 


Keokuk rose first in renly, and shaking hands with 
the Governor and others near to him, spojco with 
fine emphasis and.much earnest and graceful, ges 
ticulatioh, holding his" staff, which he frequently 
shifted from hand to hand*. 

" Keokuk and his chiefs are very much gratified 
that they have had the pleasure of shaking .hands 
with the head man or governor of this great state, 
and also with all the men that surround him. 

"You well say, brother, that the Great Spirit has 
made both of us, though your color is white and 
mine is red; but he made your heart and mine the 
same. The only difference I find is, he made you 
speak one language, and I another. He made the 
same sky above our heads for both. He gave us 
hands to take each other by, and eyes to see each 
other. I wish to take all present by the hand, — to 
shake hands with all my white brethren. 

" I am very happy to say, before I die^ that 1 have 
been in the great house where my fathers and your 
fathers used to speak together as we do now. And 
.[ hope the Great Spirit is pleased with this sight; 
aad will long continue to keep friendship between 
the white and red men. I hope that now, in this 
presence, he sees us; and hears our hearts proffer 
friendship to each other; and that he will aid us ju 
what we are now engaged in. 

" My remarks are short and this is what 1 say to 
you. I take my friends all by the haud, and wish 
the Great Spirit to give them all a blessing." 

Several other chiefs spoke, and after them Black 
Hawk made a shqyt address. .To these several 


speeches the governor replied collectively. Presents, 
were then distributed among them by the governor.; . 
Keokuk received a splendid' sword and brace of ,, 
pistols; his son, Musanwont, a handsome little ri- 
fle: The head chiefs received long swords and the 
others short ones. Black Hawk was also presented 
with a brace of pistols and a sword. When this 
ceremony had ended, the Indians repaired to the 
common in front of the 'capital, and there, in the 
presence of some thirty thousand spectators, exhib- 
ited themselves in a war dance, for about half an 
hour; and from thence returned to their lodging. 

Throughout the whole of his visit in Boston, 
Keokuk preserved his grave and dignified manners^ 
winning the respect and admiration of all who had 
an opportunity of coming in contact with him. 
U£on his' return' to the west, he spent a few hours 
in tJiticihnati, and was visited by a great number 
of pefsdns. We had the pleasure of taking him 
by the hand, and of making some inquiries i, in re- 
gard; tb'his character, of those who were personally 
acquainted with him. 

In persoir, Keokuk; is steut, graceful and com- 
manding, -with fine features and ait intelligent coun- 
tenance. His broad expanded chest and muscular . 
limbs, denote activity and physical power; and he 
is known to excel in dancing, horsemanship, and all 
athletic exercises. . He has acquired considerabla 
property,' arid lives in princely style!. IJe is fond of 
travelling, and makes frequent Visits of state to the "J 
Osagfcs, the "Otfa ways, tlhe Oriiahas and. the Winne^/ 
bagoes. On these occasions he is uniformly*ni6uii-« 


ted on a fine horse, clad in a showy robe wrought 
by his six wives, equipped with his rifle, pipe* tom- 
ahawk and war-club. He i& usually attended in . 
these excursions by forty or fifty of his young men, . 
well mounted and handsomely dressed. A man 
precedes the party to announce his approach- to the 
tribe he is about to honor with a visit: and such 
is his popularity, that his reception is generally in a 
style corresponding with the state in which he 
moves. These visits are 'most frequently made in 
autumn, and are enlivened by hunting, feasting, 
dancing, horse-racing and various athletic games, 
in all of which Keokuk takes an active part. He 
moves, it is supposed, in more savage magnificence, 
than any other Indian chief upon the continent. 

In point of intellect, integrity of character, and 
the capacity for governing others, he is supposed to 
have no superior among the Indians: Bold, coura- 
geous, and skilful in war — mild, firm and politic in 
peace: He has great enterprize and active impulses, 
with a freshness and enthusiasm of feeling, which 
might readily lead him astray, but for his quick 
perception of human character, his uncommon pru- 
dence and his calm, sound judgment. At an early 
period of his life he became the chief warrior of 
his tribe, and by his superior talents, eloquence, 
and intelligence, really directed the civil affairs of 
his nation for many years, while they were nomi- 
nally conducted in the name of the hereditary- 
peace chie£ Such is Keokuk, the Watchful Fox, 
who prides Hmself upon being the friend of the 


Murder of twenty-eight Menominies by the Foxes of Black Hawk** 
band — Naopope's visit to Maiden — Black Hawk recreates the Missis- 
si ppi-rGeneral Atkinson orders him to return — Stillman's attack—* - 
Defeated by. Black Hawk — Hit white flag fired upon— He sends out 
war parties upon the frontier — Attack upon Fort Buffalo — General 
Dodge's battle on the Wisconsin — Black Hawk and his band leave the 
Four Lakes and fly to the Mississippi — Pursued by General Atkinson 
— Black Hawk's flag of truce fired upon by the Captain of the War* 
rior — Twenty-three Indians killed. 

Black Hawk and his band were, not long upon 
the west side of the, Mississippi, before new diffi- 
culties arose, calculated to disturb the harmony was hoped the treaty of the 30th of June, 
had established between them and the United 
States. The period of (heir removal to the west 
side ot the Mississippi, was too late in the season to .< 
enable them to plant corn and beans a second time; 
and before- autumn was over they were without 
provisions. Some of them, one night, recrossed the 
river to steal roasting-ears from their own fields, 
— to quote the language of Black Hawk, — and 
were shot at by the whites, who made loud com- 
plaints of this depredation. They, in turn, were 
highly exasperated at having been fired upon for 
attempting to carry off the corn which th$y had 
raised, and which they insisted, belonged to them. 

Shortly after this, a party of foxes, belonging, it 
is believed, to Black Hawk's band, went up the 
Mississippi, to Prairie des Chiens, to avenge the .. 
murder of some of their tribe, which had been 
committed in the summer of 1830, by a party, of 


144 LIFE OF I ;k hawk. 

the Menominies and Sioux. The Foxes attacked 
the camp of the Menominies and killed twenty- 
eight of them. The authdritibs at Prairie des Chiens, 
made a demand of the murderers, that they might 
be tried knd punished under the laws of the United 
States, according to the treaty of 1825. Black 
Hawk, with other chiefs, took the ground that the 
United States had no right to make this demand* 

- and refused to give them * up. Here then was an- 
other source of difficulty. 

Neapope, a chief of the British band, and second 
in command to Black Hawk, prior to tjxe^ removal 
of the Indians to the west side of the Mississippi, 
had started on a visit to Maiden, to consult their 
British Father in regard to the right to retain their 
lands' on Rock river. He returned late in the fall, 

^bringing word that in his opinion, the Americans 
could not take their lands, unless by purchase; 
and this purchase, it was contended by Black 
Hawk had never been made. Neapope on his 
way from Maiden, called to see "the" Prophet, 
who assured him that early the ensuing spring, not 
only the British, but trie Ottawas, Chippcwas, Pot- 
tawatorhies and Winnebagoes, would assist them to 
regain their village, and the lands around it. Black 
Hawk believed, or affected to believe, this informa- 
tion, and began to make preparations to increase 
the number of his braves by recruiting from differ- 
ent villages. He sent a messenger to Keokuk, and 
to the Fox tribe, to inform them of the good news 
he had heard, and to ask their co-operation. Keo- 
kuk ha5 too much sagacity to be imposed upon by ' 

Lirt 6f BLACK haWk. 145 

tales of either British or Indian assistance, and sent 
word to Black Hawk that he was deceived and had 
better^ remain quiet. With a view of preventing 
farther difficulty, he is said to have made applica- 
tion to the agent at St. Louis, that the chiefs of 
the Sacs and Foxes might be permitted to visit 
Washington city, to see the President, and if pos 
sible make a final adjustment of the matter in dis 
flute. Black Hawk alledges he was anxious to 
make this visit to his Great Father, and had deter- 
mined, to submit peaceably to his counsel, whatever 
it might be. But the arrangement for the visit, 
from some cause, was not perfected, and Black 
Hawk proceeded with his own plans. He estab- 
lished his head quarters at • the point where Fort 
Madison formerly stood, on the west side of the 
Mississippi, and made another unsuccessful effort 
to draw into his support some of the braves under 
Keoktik. Having assembled his own party he be- 
gan^to 1 ascend the Mississippi — the women and 
children' in. canoes with their provisions, camp 
equipage and' property— his warriors armed and 
mounted on their horses. Below Rock island, they 
were met by the Prophet,' who informed them that 
there was a great war chief then at Fort Arm- 
strong, with a large body of soldiers. The Prophet 
stated that the agerit and trader at Rock island, had 
atterhpted to dissuade him' from joining Black 
Hawk, but he had refused to take their advice, be- 
catise so lohg as they remained at peace, the Amer- 
icans dare not molest them. Having reached the" 
mouth of tfotik river, in the early part of April 
7 N 


1832, the whole party rashly and ■ in violation xxf 
the treaty of the previous year, crossed to the east 
side of the Mississippi, for the avowed purpose of 
ascending Rock river, to the territory of .their friends^ 
the Winnebagoes, and raising a crop of corn and 
beans with them. General Atkinson with a. bodj. 
of troops was then«t Fort Armstrong, haying bew> 
ordered by government to that point, for the pur-, 
pose of preventing a war between the Menomenies 
and the Foxes, and demanding the surrender o£ : 
those Indians who had committed the murders at ; 
Fort Crawford. After Black Hawk and his party-, 
had proceeded some distance up Rock river, he was. 
overtaken by an express from General Atkinson, 
with an order for him to return and recross the 
Mississippi, which he refused to obey, on tha 
ground that the General had no right to make such- 
an order; the Indians being at peace and on thei* 
way to the prophet's village, ajt his request, to make, 
corn. Before they had reached this point, they., 
were overtaken by a second express from General 
Atkinson, with a threat, that if they did not return, 
peaceably, he would pursue and force them back. . 
The Indians replied that they were determined not . 
to be driven back, and equally so not to make the 
first attack on the whites. Black Hawk now as- 
certained that the Winnebagoes, although willing 
that he, should raise a crop of corn with them, 
would not join in any hostile action against the 
United States. The Pottowatomies manifested the . 
same det 3rmination, and both denied having given 
the prop let any assurances of co-operation. Black 


Hawk immediately came : to4he conclusion, thafif-K 
pursued by General Atkinson, he would poaceably . ^ 
return with his party, z^nd recross the Mississippi.. 
He was encamped at Kisk-wa-cokee, ami was pre- , 
paring to compliment some Pottowatomie johicby 
then on a visit to liim, by a dog-feast. . 

In the mean time the Illinois militia, ordered out. by 
Governor Reynolds, upon his hearing of this seeond . 
"invasion," of the state, had formed a. junction witty 
the regular troops under Gepeijal Atkinson at Rock is- T 
land, tlie latter assuming the copijnand of the whole. ; 
From this point, the militia* being generally mounts. 
ed, proceeded by land to Dixou's ferry on Rock river, 
about half way between the mouth of that stream* 
and the encampment of Black . Hawk, General i 
Atkinson with three hundred regulars and t^ree. 
hundred militia ascended Rock river in boats to the* 
same point. Major. Stilbuan, having under his. 
command a body of two hundred and- seventy-five., 
mounted . volunteers,, obtained leave of General 
Whitesides, then in command of this Illinois: milir 
tia, at IJixon's. ferry, to gb'oiit on a scooting expe-.. 
ditibn. He proceeded un : j^ock river ,about thirty . 
miles, to Sycamore Creeki which empties into that/ 
river on the, east side. This* movement brought 
him within a few miles of the camp of Black 
Hawk ancl a paft'of his braves, at the time when 
the old chief was engaged in getting up a dog-feast 
in honour of his. Pottowatomie visiters. 

" Itwas on the 14th of May, that Black Hawk, 
while engaged in this ceretmony, wsus informed ,tha; 
a large number of mounted volunteers, had been ." 

lift Lfiri 6w HiicK ftAtnt 

seen about eight ihiles from his camp. '*! imme* 
diately started," toys he, u thrfee young men, with a 
white flag, to meet them and conduct them to our 
camp, that we might hold 9. council with them, and 
descend Rock river again: and directed them in case 
the whites had encamped, to return, and I would 
go and see them. After this party had started, I 
sent five young men to see what might take place. 
The first party went to the encampment of the 
whites, and were taken prisoners. The last party 
bad not proceeded Far, before they saw about twen- 
ty men coming towards them in ftill gallop. They 
stopped and finding that the whites were coming so 
fast, in a warlike attitude, they turned and retreat- 
ed, but were pursued tad overtaken and two of 
them killed. The others made their escapeu 
Wheh they came in with the news, I was prepar- 
ing my flags to meet the war chie£ The alarm 
was given. Nearly all my young m^n were ab- 
sent about ten miles off. I started with what I had 
left, (about forty,) and had proceeded but a short 
distance, before we saw a part of the army ap- 
proaching. I raised a yell, and said to my braves; 
«fcome of our people have been killed, wantonly and 
cruelly murdered ! we must avenge their death." 
In a little while we discovered the whole army, 
coming towards us in full gallop ! We were now ' 
confident that our first party had. been killed 1 
immediately placed my men in fipht of some bush- 
es, that we might have the first fire, when they ap- 
proached close enough. TTiey made a halt some 
distance from us. I gave another yell, and OTder-" 

■^•'./V *•■■ " ; 

■:■■-*' - ■ - ■ 

* '. * ; ;-- : . 

-t. '.':■'■ *sf. 


■■.■*-''■ V. • 

".' ■"" . ■■."* ■-. . . 


■ . . -v" 



..'■^ : V 

'■•';M\ V 

■ -me-" ■ 

-.•***vr; ' 



ed my brave warriors to charge upon them, expec- 
ting that we would all be killed ! they did charge 
— evfcry man rushed ahd fired, atid the enemy re- 
treated in the utmost confusion and consternation, 
Wfofe my little but brave band of warriors. After 
pursuing the isnemy for some distance, I found it 
useless to follow them, as they rode so fast, and re- 
turned to my encampment with a few of my 
*braves, (about twenty-five having gone in pursuit 
of the enemy.) I lighted my pipe, and sat down 
to thank the Great Spirit for what he had done. I 
had not been long meditating, when two of the 
three young men I had sent out with the flag, to 
meet the American war chief, entered. My aston- 
Ishfnent was not greater than my joy to see them 
living ahd well. I eagerly listened to their story, 
which was as follows: 

* WKfen we atrived near to the encampment of 
th.e whites, a number of them rushed out to meet 
us, bringing their guns with them. They took us 
into the camp, when an American who spoke the 
Sac language a little, tpld us that his chief wanted 
to know* how we were, where we were going, 
tvtiiere our camp was, and where Black Hawk was. 
We told him that we had come to see his chief: 
that our chief had directed us to conduct him to 
our camp, iri case he had not encamped; and in 
thfcit fevent to tell him, that he (Black Hawk) would 
come to' see him; he wished to hold a council with 
him, as he had given up all intention of going to 
wax. At the conclusion of this talk, a party of 
white 1 'men came in on horseback. We saw by 


their countenances that something had happened. 
A general tumult arose. They looked at us with in- 
dignation — talked among themselves for a .mo- 
ment, when several cocked their guns; in a seeond 
they fired at us in the crowd; our companion 
fell dead. We rushed through the crowd and made 
oyr escape. We remained in ambush but a short 
time, before we heard yelling, like Indians running 
an enemy. In a little while we saw some of the 
whites ha full speed. One of them came near us. 
I threw my tomahawk and struck him on the head, 
which brought him to the ground. I ran to him 
and with his own knife took off his scalp. I took 
his gun, mounted his horse, and took my friend here 
behind me. We turned to follow our braves, who 
were running the enemy, and had not gone far be- 
fore we overtook a white man, whose horse had 
mired in a swamp. My friend alighted and toma- 
hawked the man, who was apparently fast under 
his horse. He took his scalp, horse and gun. By 
this time our party was some distance ahead. We 
followed on and saw several white men lying dead 
on the way. After riding about six miles, we met 
our party returning. We asked them how many 
of our men had been killed. They said none after 
the Americans had retreated. We inquired then 
how many whites had been killed ? They replied 
they did not know; but said we will soon ascertain, 
as we must scalp them as we go back. On Our re- 
turn ve found ten men, besides the two we had 
killed before we joined our friends. Seeing that 
they did not yet recognize us, it being dark, we 

Lira OS SL4CX n*wsu £$f 

again asked, how many of our hear** had bee* 
jkilkd? They said five. We asked who they were. 
They replied that the first party of thre^, who wen* 
out to meet the American war chief, had all been 
taken prisoners, and killed in the enc*u&p*aeot; and 
that out of a party of five, who Jeilowsd to see 
the meeting of the first patty .and tfce whites, 
two had been killed. We were np*r certain that , 
they did net recognize us, nor did we tell them 
who We werey until we arrived at our camp. .The 
news of our death had reached H some time be- 
forehand all were surprised to see «a again,"* 
, Sfcch is, the narrative of this defeat, as given by 
Black Hawk, and two of his men who were the 
bearers of his white flag end a proposition to, stl*- 
render.:. < The* accounts given by Major Stilknan's 
iceops— for it is not ascertained that &e eommandar 
published any official statement of the bcrttle — ^i» m 
substance about the following; T^e force under 
.Major Stillman, two hundred and seve&ty-hve in 
number* on the afternoon of the fourteenth of May, 
met three Indians beating a white 4ag ? one } o/ 
whom, after having heen taken prisoner, wa* $h<# 
.down* «. The aitaiy encamped, just before WinJet, 
in*! piece of woods, smrotoded by an o fen prairie, 
about three* miles from Sycamore creek, ^8000 after 
.they bad halted, five mdre Indians, Wijh apparent 
pacific intentions, wtife seen approaching the camp* 
-Captain Eadte, with a party of armed troops, dash- 
ed at fidl speed towards • them, when jteaey became 

464 U» OF MACK' IflkW*. 

atanned' and odmmenced a retreat* : The Captain, 
after following them for come distance, and killing 
tiro of the party; gave upttie pursuit, and wro on 
his return t# the camp; when he was met by the 
whole 'detachment- The pursuit of the retreating 
Indians- war immediately renewed, and continued 
until both patties had crossed Sycamore creek. 
This btotight them upon the camp of Black Hawk, 
■Who having bee& apprized of the approach of the 
whites, hod mounted hissnen and prepared for ac- 
tion. The Indians were concealed behind -some 
bushes, and: after having fired their guns, raised the 
War-whoop and resorted to the tomahawk. TTieir 
Kite was returned, with but little effect, and thfcn 
Major Stillman, ins&ntly ordered a retreat across 
the creek, and the route became general. His^ troops 
Aed through fhair «ampj and did not£top until they 
Cached Dixon's ferry, distant thirty miles*- Some 
uf them deeined it prudent to seek a place of ftili 
greater Safety, than the: flag of General Atkinsto, 
*hd continued their flight for more than fifty miles, 
fend until* Aey reached .their own fire-sides^ The 
w*U was called at Dixon's ferry next mornings and 
fifty-twd v weie found missing, it vrtfc, however, 
subsequently ascertained that more than half of this 
number ifrere among those who: rede express to- the 
<* settlements" to : carry the newsof their gallant 
attack upoi General Black Hawk and trisi' British 
-band.- StKh'wasthe panic among the iroops en- 
gaged in tfcis skirmish, that they reported- the In- 
dian foree it 1500 and even-. 2000 men! * Black 
Hawk's ett lament has already teen given, in* which 


he pieces his number at forty; and one of the vol- 
unteers whose horse was lame, and who hid him- 
self, and watched the Indians as they passed him in 
the pursuit and on their return, did not estimate 
them at more than a hundred. It is probable the 
real number of the Indians did not exceed fifty. It 
i& painful to contemplate this whole affair, for it is 
alike discreditable to the national faith and the na 
tional arms. The violation of a flag of truce, and 
the wanton destruction of the lives of some of those 
who bore it, not only placed an indelible stigma 
upon the character of the country, but led to a war, 
in the prosecution of which, much blood and much 
treasure were expended. Had a conference with 
Black Hawk been held, scarcely a doubt remains, 
considering his failure to secure the co-operation of 
other tribes, and his utter destitution of provisions, 
that he and his band would haVe returned, peace- 
ably, to the west side of the Mississippi. The pre- 
cipitate flight of the troops under Major Stillman, 
has no justification. Supposing the panic to have 
been such as to* render a retreat across Sycamore 
creek, necessary, it should have terminated when 
the troops reached their encampment; which, be- 
ing in a copse of woods, surrounded by a prairie, 
they would have been protected by trees, while the 
Indians, if they continued the attack, must have 
fought in the open plain. But no effort was made 
to rally at the encampment, and all the baggage of 
our troops — blankets, saddle-bags, -camp eqivpage 
and provisions, — fell into the hands of the In< ians. 
Black Hawk fiading that there was now no dter- 




fied to fight. Indignant at the at- 
ftis flag of peaces-encouraged by his 
in putting to flight, a force Vastly' 
^numbers to his own — and strengthened 
^ jooty — especially the provisions-r^he had 

tBLket%<Jb assembled his braves and prepared for 
an active border war. He immediately sent out 
spies to watch the movements of General Atkinson, 
and prepared to remove his women and children, 
from the seat of war to the head waters of Rock 
river, where he supposed they would be safe from 
the attacks of the whites. . In passing to this point, 
by the sources of the Kish-wa-co-kee, he was > met 
by some Winnebagoes, who had heard of his vie* 
tory, and were now disposed to join him. Some 
additional war parties were sent out, the new re- 
cruits from the Winnebagoes, constituting one of 
them. This arrangement completed, Black Hawk 
proceeded with the women and children to the 
Four Lakes, in which Catfish, one of the tributaries 
to Rock river, has its origin, 

Stillman's defeat spread consternation throughout 
the state of Illinois. The Indian forces were great- 
iy magnified in number, and Black Hawk's name 
carried with it associations of uncommon, military 
talent; and of savage cunning and cruelty. General 
Atkinson proceeded to fortify his camp, at Dixon's 
ferry, and the Executive of the state made a call 
for more mounted volunteers. The Secretary at 
War sent about 1000 United States' troops from 
the sea-board to the scene of action; and General 
Winfield Scott was ordered to proceed to the north 

LV* #T BLACK VAW&j . M9 

west, and direct the future operations of the cam- 
paign: A bloody bolder contest ensued. Many 
frontier families were massacred with savage fen* 
city, and some were carried into captivity. A party 
of Pottowattomies, thirty in number, fell upon * 
Kttle settlement on Indian creek, one of the tribu- 
taries of Fox river, and murdered fifteen men, wo* 
men and children, taking two prisoners, the Misses 
Halt; who were subsequently placed in charge of 
some Winnebagoes, and by them returned in safety, 
a few weeks afterwards, to their friends. At Kei* 
1$g'z grove, not far from Galena, in the early pari 
of June, a party of Indians stole some horses. 
Captain J. W. Stephenson pursued them with 
twelve men. A skirmish ensued, which resulted 
in the death of three of our troops and five or six 
of the enemy. On the evening of the 14th of June, 
a party of eleven Sacs, killed five white men at 
Spaflbrd's farm. General Dodge with twenty-nine 
men, followed and overtook them in a. swamp, 
where the whole were shot down and scalped, they 
having first killed three of Dodge V men. The bar* 
batous practice of scalping the dead, was. in this 
ease adopted by our troops and sanctioned by their 

On the 24th of June, the Indians made an attack 
upon the fort at Buffalo grove, twelve miles north 
of Dixon's ferry, It was defended by a hundred 
and fifty men, under the command of Captain 
Dement, some of whom, with about forty howes, 

■* Q*B AftuUklt W. W. W«i 


Sf0- Lt9&4* BLAC* fiAWft/ 

wexe killed. ■■■.Hie- cwnmande* did Jiot deem rt 
prud&it to march out and encounter Ufae Indiana, 
who finding that they eould not take the forty se* 
cured a quantity of provisions, some horses and 
cattle, and commenced a retreat. They/.tiad "not 
pvdeeeded fer, before they were overtake*! by a de* 
tachment of volunteers under €olonel Posey, wh<> 
had ebme to relieve the fort. Black Hawk, who 
commanded the Indians in this affair, says, " We 
ceticealed ourselves until they came near enough, 
and then commenced yelling and firing and made a 
lash upon them.< About this time their chief, with 
tf <party of men, rushed up to the rescue of thos4 we 
ttfed fired upon. In a little while they commenced 
Retreating, and left their chief and a few braves, 
who seemed willing and anxious to fight. They 
aoted like braves, but were forced to give way 
Whet* I lushed upon them with my braves* In a 
sheet time, the chief returned with a larger party. 
He seemed determined to fight and anxious fo t 
battle. When he came near enough, I raised the 
jrellj arid firing commenced from both sides. The 
chief, who is a small man, addressed his warriors 
ia\a: loud voice; but they soon retreated, leaving 
-him and a few braves on the battle field. A great 
number of my warriors' pursued the retreating 
{tarty,. and killed a number of their horses as they 
tan. The chief and his braves were. unwilling to 
leave the field. I ordered my braves to rush upon 
them, and had the mortification of seeing two. of 
my chiefs killed, before the enemy retreated. This 
young chief deserves great praiaeibr h» courage, 

irat -fortunately for us* his army was 'dot all eontr 
.posed of such brave men;". --. - ; 

Th^ Indians had about two hundred men in this 

engagement. The troops iu the fort united with 

. those tinder Colonel Posey,, exceeded, in number 

Black' Hawk's party, Hie Jess of life was inc** 

siderable on either side. 

- v On the 4th of July, the main army under Gen 
eral Atkkison, arrived at the foot of lake €osh- 
coaong, formed by an expansion of - Rock rivep, 
m the* vicinity*, of which -the Indians had been 
embodied* On the 9th of July, General Atkinson 
soys, in a letter to General Scott, thai- he had not 
y*t been enabled to find the Indians, who he sup- 
poses to be seven or eight hundred strong, .his own 
force amounting to Jour hundred regulars and 21Q0 
mounted volunteers* 

*; Two brigades of the mounted volunteer*, under 
General Dodge,%piir«^ed the Indians from this place 
towards Foe* Winnebago*. They were overtaken 

- en the £lst oOuly , about «un down, on the banks at 
the Wiscowin. An attack was immediately made, 
and .about forty- of ; the Indians are supposed |o 
have befftt kilted. General Dodge lost one m*n 
tod had. eight wownded. The exact loss of the 
'Indians in this engagement cannot be ascertained 
0ne account plaees thf» number at sixteen. V Black 
Hawk sstysh© had but • fifty \varripr3 with him in 

-the^engagemeni; the rest being engaged in assisting 
the women and children in crossing, the Wisconsin 

-■ • ^IVJNA # A* Www qfyocfr * mmc* t" $ 1*3, , 


t» an island, to protect them from tlie forjrcif tuft 
whites: That he was compiled to fall back into a 
deep • ravine where lie continued to maintain his 
ground until dark, and until hia people had had 
tiineto reach the islwid, and that he lost but six of 
-Ms men. This is undoubtedly a mistake, owing in 
all probability to the interpreter in taking down his 
statement;' for some of his men, subsequently, pla- 
ced the number at sixty. The condition of the In 
« Alans at this time wis most deplorable. Before 
breakingfup thdr encampment, upon the Four Lakes, 
•they were almost destitute of provisions. In pur- 
Stung their trail from this point to the Wisconsin, 
-many were found literally starved to death. They 
•Were compelled to live upon roots, the balk of trees 
fetid horse flesh. A party of Black Hawk's band, 
including many women and children, now attemp- 
ted to descend the Witeonfcin upon rfcfts and in ca- 
noes, that they might escape, by recessing the 
'Mississippi They tfere attacked however, in their 
'descent, hf troops stationed on the bunk of the riv- 
* W; and some were billed, othere drowned, a few ta- 
v ken prisoners, and the remainder, escaping to the 
Iroodiij perished from hunger. Black Hawk, and 
such of -"his party as had not the moads of descend- 
ing the Wisconsin, havittg abandoned all idea of 
atry'farthef T^stance, and unwillmg:t6 trust thefit- 
r *elves td- a capitulation, htnr determined to- strike 
"« Actoss the country, and reach th4 Mississippi, some 
distance above the mouth of the former stream, and 
thus effect their escape. They struck it at a point 
' «nQotifte the lowtty/Andabeut ferty mfleatbove the 


liti dr BLAci uxwx. 163 

Wisconsin, losing on their rtmte, many of thear peo- 
' pie from Starvation. So soon as they reached the 
■ Mississippi, apart of the women and children, in 
^cfrisahoeS ail tft^cduld procure, undertook to de- 
scend it, to* Prairie des Chiens, hut many of thetii 
■we#e drown^ before they ^ched that place, and 
thftse who did arrive at it,' were found to be in a 
fitatvifig condition. Oh the Irst of August, while in 
the act of crossing the Mississippi, ah attack was 
'made upon Black Hawk and his party by the steam 
*boat Warrioiy With an armed force on board. The 
commander of -the boat, under date of Prairie des 
•Chiens, 3d August 1832-, gives the following ac- 
count of it v : ' ; 
"* «*I atrived at this place on monday last, (Jtdy 
•30th) and wits despatched with the Warrior alone, 

• to Wapeshaws village, one hundred and twenty 
tailes above, to inform them of the approach of the 
Sacs, and to order down all the friendly' Indians to 
thte plac*. " (hi our way down we met one of tha 
Sfaux'bantl, who informed us that the Indians, our 
enemies, 'Were <Ai Bad-axe river, to the number 6? 
tiftir hundred. We' Mapped and cut some wood 
*&d prepared fbr action. About four o'clock oh 
Wednesday aftetaooi* (August 1st) we found the 
'g&tfomm [Indians] where he stated he left them. 
Atf we Heated them, they raised a white flap, and 
Endeavored to decoy us;' but We Were a little top 
cM'fof'ttiemj'fbt 'instead'df landing; we ordered 
tb&n to eendMa boat on board; which they declined. 
After about fifteen trikmtes delays ghrirtg'them tifaw 

* MM** tf'IbW ot ihefr Wdttirih «4 ! diSiarcft, we 

{ }04 uqt of .pt^c* iuwjc. 

Jet slip a six-pounder, loaded with. caAeter, follow 
ed by a severs fire of, pu^sketry; pud if ever you 
saw starlight blankets, you would have : seen them 
tt^ere. I. fought them at, anchor, w>«t of the 
ti^o and we were all .rery much, opposed* 1 
jbftve a balj[ which came, in close by whew 1 
was standing, and ppssed.thr014gh.ihe bulkhead 
of the wheel room. .We Sought them &*■ about 
an hour or more until ou* wood began to fail, and 
jUight coming. , on, we left, aipl went on >t& the 
pwarie. This little £ghi cost them twenty-three 
JtUled, and of course a great many wounded* We 
never lost a man, and had but one man wounded, 
(shot through the leg.) The next morning before 
we could get back again, on account of a heavy 
fog, they had the whole [of General Atkinson's] ar- 
my upon them. We found thejn at it, walked in, 
and took a hand ourselves. The first shot from the 
Warrior Ipid out three. I can hardly tell you any 
thing about it, for I am in great haste, as I am now 
on, my way to the field again. The army tot eight 
or nine killed, and seventeen wounded,, whom we 
brought down. One died on deck last night, W* 
brought down thitfy-*ix prisoners, wogosen and chit 
QtexL I tell you what, Skim, thete if np fun in fight- 
ing Indians, particularly . at this season, when the 
grass is so very bright -Every man, and wren my 
cabin-boy, fought welL : We had sixteen regular* 
fiye riflLe men, and twenty of ourselves «jM*-How, 
of Piatt, B^r f; Jasnqs G. $oulaid„and *m at the Rot 
letters, we*e with us, and fought welfc* 

Lltl OF BLACK HAWK. 105 

good keeping with the spirit which prompted the 
firing upon a flag of truce. By what circumstance 
the commander of the Warrior ascertained that this 
white flag was intended as a decoy, is left wholly:, 
unexplained. As he and his men, were beyond 
the ifeach of the Indians, humanity and thetules of 
war, required that he should have allowed himself 
more than ^fifteen miniites,\o ascertain the true Ob 
ject of the. Indians, in raising the symbol of a capit- 
ulation. : Black Hawk himself, asserts that he di- 
rected his braves not to fire upon the Warrior, as he 
iitteftded going on bokrd in order to save the wo- 
men and children; that he raised a white ifeg and' 
called to the • captafo of the boat, desiring him to 
send his canoe oh shote, that he might* go 6n boaito,j 
as he wanted to givte himself up. The deplorable ; 
condition to which Black Hawk ivas at this time 
reduced, flying fof safety to the west side of the 
Mississippi, r enctiimbered by his women and ' chiU f 
dren, &rifl his 1 whole party ^xftaufctedf'by fatigtW ■ 
arid hunger, tfendmit extremely difficult to believe 1 " 
that any decoy was* intended by him. Indeed, nb-i ; 
thing can be more certain, than that he was most ' 
heartily desirous of ending the disastrous and fa- 
tal contest in which be had beedfrie involved, with-' 
out thfe L slaughter of aify hicnrt of his petiple. If" 
the thfrst fo¥ blood had been less rapacious oh 'the* 
patt of the Americans, or their respect for a flag of ■ 
truce eontething greater, the further destruction 
of life would haVe been spaied; and the' nation pre- 1 
served firotti the charge of having 4 fired tipon a flag, :: * 
hddsae*^*K^ w ; ' 



General Atkinson overtakes Black Hawk— BattTe of the Bad Axe~ " 
j&tkinWs official report— iatnfeuU of the- Battle—Captor* of ' 
Black Hawk and the prophefcT-NaaiMpe'astateaientto General Scott . 
—General Scott ancf Gorernor Reynolds conclude a treaty with the 
Sacs, Foket and WinneVagoea--Caus«f Which led t6 the War— Mb- 
tnres for getting up Indian ware— First attack made by the 1 1 lino if 
militia — Report of the Secretary at War in regard to this campaign 
-^General Maeoiub's letter to* General Atkinson— -Secretary Cass' . 
statement of the causes which led to this war— ComnjesSts upon this ' 
statement, and its omissions pointed out. , . 

After the battle .upon the Wisconsin, the whole : 
a?my, under the command of General Atkinson, 
crossed to the north side of that river, at Helena, 
and on the twenty-ninth of July, commenced the, 
pursuit of the. Indians, hy forced marches, over a., 
rugged and mountainous country. On .the morning 
of die second of August, while ten. miles from .the 
Mississippi, it was ascertained that the *enemy were 
upon the bank of that stream, near the Bad-ape, 
and in the act of crossing to the west side. Arrange , 
ments were immediately made for an attack. Gep. -.- 
.Podge's squadron was placed in front, followed by * : 
th^ infantry, and these by the brigades of Henry, ' 
Alexander, and Posey. ' The army had proceeded * 
m this order about five miles, when sojae Indians 
were discovered and fired upon. They iaunediate.- 
ly retreated to the main body, on the bank-of the, . 
Tiyer. To prevent the possibility of the escape of .; 
the enemy, Generals Alexander : [ ajid Posoy, wsera 
directed to form the right wing of the ar;ay ri an4 . 
inarch to the river, atyree t^e Indian eqc&tvpmept. 


and then to move down along the bank. General. 
Henry formed the left wing, aiid the United States' 
infantry and General Dodge's, squadron, occupied 
the centre. In this order, the army descended a. 
bluff bank into a river bottom, heavily ^ timbered, 
and covered with weeds and brush-wood. Generaf 
Henry first came upon a portion of the enemy, and 
commenced a heavy fire upon them, which was re- 
turned. General Dodge's squadron and the United 
States' troops, soon came into the action, and witl\. 
General Henry's men, rushed upon the Indians, 
killing all in the way,, except a few who, succeeded 
in swimming a slough of the Mississippi, about a 
hundred and fifty yards wide. During this time 
the brigades of Alexander and Posey, in marching 
down the bank of the river, fell in with another, 
party of Indians, and killed or routed the whole of 
them* When the Indians were driven to the brink . 
of the riyer, a large number . of men, women . and 
children, plunged into the Water to save themselves 
by swimming; but only a few esca-ped "our .sharp- 
shooters." The battle iasted about three hours. 
In the afternoon, of the same day, Generals Atkin- . 
son, Dodge and Posey, descended the Mississippi/ 
to Prairie des. Chiens, in the Warrior, and there 
awaited the arrival of the mpunted volunteers, who, . 
reached thaj place on the fourth. * , J^inpng the In- § 
dians who escape^ the slaughter was Black Ha>v,k. 
Twelve of those who effected their escape^ were , 
captured on the fourth, by a .party of whites, from-, 
Cassville, under the command .of. Captain Price;, 
and most of those wh$ ^i^^^^'^aqbin^.tto^ 


west side of the Mississippi, were subsequently at- 
tacked by a party of hostile Sioux, and either kill- 
ed or taken prisoners. The brief, but official ac- 
count of this battle is given by the commanding 
general, in these woTds. 

Head Quartan, Fhat Artillery Corps, North-wwtem Army. 
Prairie des Chiena, Augt 25, 1832. 

Sir: I have the honor to report to you that 1 
crossed the Ouisconsin on the 27th and 28th ultimo, 
with a select body of troops; consisting of the regu-. 
lars under fcol. Taylor, four hundred in number/ 
part of Henry's, Posey's and Alexander's brigades, 
amounting in all to 1300 men, and immediately fell 
upon the trail bf the enemy, and pursued it by a 
forced march, through a mountainous and difficult 
country, till the morning of the 2d inst., when we 
came up with his main body on the left bank of 
the Mississippi, nearly opposite the mouth of the 
Ioway, which we attacked, defeated and dispersed, 
with a loss on his part of about a hundred and fifty 
men killed, thirty-nine women and children taken, 
prisoners — the precise number could not be ascer- 
tained, as the greater portion was slain after being 
forced into the river. Our loss in killed and 
wounded, which is stated below, is very small in 
comparison with the enemy, which may bb attribut- 
ed to the enemy's being forced from his positions 
by a rapid charge at the commencement, and 
throughout the engagement— the remnant of the 
enemy, cut up and disheartened, crossed to the 
opposite side of the river, and has fled into the in- 

tnri OF BLACK HAWK. 160 

tenor, with a view,- it is supposed, of joining Keo- 
kuk and Wapello's bands of Sacs and Foxes. 

The horses of the volunteer troops being exhaust, 
ed by long marches, and the regular troops without 
shoes, it was not thought advisable to continue the 
pursuit; indeed a stop to the further effusion of 
blood seemed to be called for, till it might be ascer 
tained if the enemy would surrender. 

It Is ascertained from our prisoners, that the en- 
emy lost in the battle of the Ouisconsin sixty-eight 
killed and a very large number wounded; his 
whole loss does not fall short of three hundred; — 
after the battle on the Ouisconsin, x those of the 
enemy's women and children, and some who were 
dismounted, attempted t£ make their escape by de- 
scending that river, but judicious measures being, 
taken by Captain Loomis and Lieut. Street, Indian 
agent, thirty-two women and children and four 
men have been captured, and some fifteen men 
killed by the detachment under Lieut Ritner. 

The day after the battle on this river, I fell down 
with the regular troops to this place by water, and 
the mounted men will join us to-day. It is now 
my purpose to direct Keokuk, to demand a sur- 
render of the remaining principal men of the hostile 
party, which, from the large number of women and 
children we hold prisoners, I have every reason to 
believe will be complied with. Should it not, they 
should be pursued and subdued, a step Maj. Gen. 
Scott will take upon his arrival. 

I cannot speak too highly of the brave conduct 
•f the regular and volunteer forces engaged in the 


last battle and the fatiguing march that preceded 
it, as soon as the reports of officers of the brigades 
aftd corps are handed in, they shall be submitted 
with further remarks. 

5 killed, 2 wounded, 6th inft. 
2 do. 5th inft. 
. _ 1 captain, 5 privates Dodge's Bat. mounted. 
1 Lieut. 6 privates Henry's 
1 private wounded, Alexander's 
1 private, Posey's. 

I have the honor to be with great respect, 
Yr. obt. servant, H. Atkinson, 

Brevet Brig. Gen.'U. S. A. 

Maj. Gen. Macomb, Com. in Chief; Washington. 

The destruction of life in the battle of the Bad- . 
axe, was-not confined to the Indian warriors. Lit- 
tle discrimination seems to have been made between 
the slaughter of those in arms and the rest of the 
tribe. After they had sought refuge in the waters 
of the Mississippi, and the women, with their chil- 
dren on their backs, were buffeting the waves, in an 
attempt to swim to the opposite shore, numbers of 
them were shot by our troops. Many painful pic- 
tures might be recorded of the adventures and hor- 
rors of that day. One or two cases may be cited. 
A Sac women, named Na-ni-sa, the sister of a 
warrior of some note among the Indians, found 
herself in the hottest of the fight She succeeded 
at length in reaching the river, and keeping her 
infant child, close in its blanket, by force of her 
teeth,, plunged into the : water, seized hold upon 


the tail of a horse, whose rider was swimming him 
to the opposite shore, and was carried safely across 
the Mississippi. When our troops charged uppa 
the Indians, in their defiles near the river, men, wo- 
men and children were so huddled together, that 
the slaughter fell alike upon all of them. A young 
squaw was standing in the grass^ a short distance, 
from the American line, holding her child, a little 
girl of four years old, in her arms. In this posi- 
tion, a ball struck the right arm of the child, just 
above the elbow, and shattering the bone, passed 
into the breast of its young mother, and instantly 
killed her. She fell upon the child and confined it 
to the ground. When the battle was nearly over, 
and the Indians, had been driven from this point, 
Lieutenant Anderson of the United States army, 
hearing the cries of the child, went to the spot, and 
taking it from under the dead mother, carried it to 
the place for surgical aid. The arm was amputa- 
ted, and during the operation, the half starved child, 
did not cry, but sat quietly eating a piece of hard 
biscuit It was sent to Prairie des Chiens, and en- 
tirely recovered from its wound. 

When the fortunes of Black Hawk became des- 
perate, his few straggling allies, from other tribes* 
not only deserted him, but joined his enemies. It 
is to two Winnebagoes, Decorie, and Chaetar> that 
the fallen chief is indebted for being taken captive. 
On the 27th of August, they delivered Black Hawk, 
and the Prophet to the Indian agent, General 
Street, at Prairie des Chiens. Upon their delive- 
ry • I)ecorie, the One-eyed, rose and said,: r . . 

173 Ltn OF fcLAOK HAWK. 

* My father, I now stand before you. When we 
patted, I told you I would return soon; but 1 
cbhld hot come any sooner. We have had to go 
a 'great distance [tp the Dalle, on the Wisconsin, 
above the portage.] You see we have done what 
you sent us to do. These, (pointing to the prisoners) 
are the two you told us to get. We have done what 
you told us to do. We always do what you tell 
us, because we know it is for our good. Father, 
you told us to get these men, and it would be the 
daiise of much good to the Winnebagoes. We have 
brought them, but it has been very hard for us to do 
so. That one, Black Hawk was a great way off. 
You told us to bring them to you alive : we 
haite done so. If you had told us to bring 
their heads alone, we would have done so, and it 
would have been less difficult than what we have 
done. Father, we deliver these men into your 
hands. We would not deliver them even to our 
brother, the chief of the warriors, but to you; be- 
cause we know you, and we believe you are our 
friend. We want you to keep them safe; if they 
are to be hurt we do not wish to see it. Wait un- 
til wc are gone before it is done. Father, many 
litfle birds have been flying aBout our ears of 
late, and we thought they whispered to us that 
there was evil intended for us; but now we hope 
thesd evil birds will let our ears alone. We know 
ytm ^re our friend, because you takfe our part, and 
that is the Teason we do what you -tell us to 
do. You say you love ydur red child* en : we think 
we love you as iriucJiif not more than you love ua 

WB- ok black ! «*wk. 173 

We have confidence in. you and you may rely oto 
us. We have been promised a great deal if we 
would take these men — that it would do raudb 
good to our people. We now hope to pee w£a* 
Wilt be done for us. We have come in haste; n*e . 
are tired and hungry. We now put these men into 
your hands. We have done all that you told us to 

- The agent, General Street, replied: "My chil- 
dren, you have done weH. I told you to bring these 
men to me, and you have done so. lam pleased at 
what you have done. It is for your good, and for 
this reason I am pleased I assured the great chief 
of the wamors, (General Atkinson) that if these 
men were in your country, you would find than 
and bring them to me, and now I can-s&y much 
for your good. I will go down to Sock island whh 
the prisoners, and I wish you who have brought 
these men,, especially, to go with me, with such 
other chiefs and warriors as you may select My 
children, the great «hief of the warriors, when tie 
left this place, directed me to deliver these and all 
other prisoners, to the chief of the warriors at tjjis 
place, Col. Taylor, who is» here by me. Some 
of the Winriebagoes, south of the Wisconsin, have 
befriended the Saukies, and some of the Indians of 
my agency have also given them aid. This dis- 
pleases the £?eat chief of the warriors, and yodr 
great father the President, and was .calculated to<J$ 
much harm. Your great father, the President at 
Washington, has sent a great war x:htef from' As 
far eafct > Geae&l Scatty- wUfct *~tosh army ofaot- 

* % 

171 Mf» ***««* HAW*. 

titer*. He is now at Rock Island. Your great fe- 
tter the President had sent him and the Governor 
mxA chief of Illinois to hold a council with the In- 
dians. He has sent a speech to you, and wishes the 
dliefs and warriors of the Wmnebagoes to go to Bock 
Island, to the council on the tenth of next month. I 
afrish you ta be 7 ready in three days, when I will go 
with you. I am well pleased that you have taken 
{he Hack Hawk, the Prophet and other prisoners. 
This will enable me to say much for you to the 
great chief of the warriors, and to the president 
your great father. My children, I shall now^ deliv- 
er the two men, Black Hawk and the prophet, to 
the chief of the warriors here; He witl take care 
*>f them till we start to Rock Island." 

Col. Taylor upon taking charge of the prisoners 
rinade a few remarks to their captors, after which 
€haetar, the associate of Decorie, rose and said, 

w My father, I am young, ,and do not know how 
to "make speeches. This is the> second time J ever 
spoke to you before people. I am no chief; I am 
no orator; but I' have been allowed to speak to 
jQ\h If I should notsjteak as well as others, still 
you must listen to me. Father, when yofc made 
die speech U> flife chiefs, Waugh Son Dec<ttie Car- 
lamazri, the one-eyed Decorie, and others, I Was 
there. I hetard you. I thought what you, said to 
them, you also said to me, : You said if these two, 
^pointiwg to Black Hawk and the prophet) were 
taken -by us and brought to you f :there would never 
wtore n black cloud hang over your Winnebagoe*. 
¥*mr. worda entered it** my #wiAiy bratew a*** 


my heart. I left here that same night, and you 
know that you have not seen me since until now. 
I have been a great way; \ had much trouble; but 
when I remembered what you said, I knew what 
you said was right. This maie me continue and 
do what you told me to do. Near the Dalle on the 
Wisconsin, I took Black Hawk. No one did it but 
me. I say this in the ears of all present, and they 
know it — and I now appeal to the Great Spirit, our 
grandfather, and the Earth, our grandmother, for 
the truth of what I say. Father, I am no chief, 
but What I have done is for the benefit of my na- 
tion, and I hope to see the good that has been pro- 
mised us. That one, Wabokieshiek, the prophet, 
is my relation — if he is to be hurt, I do not wish to 
see it. Father, soldiers sometimes stick the ends of 
their guns into the backs of Indian prisoners, when 
they are going about in the hands of the guard. •* I 
hope this will not be done to this man." 

Naopope the second in command, with a fewoth6r 
Indians who escaped from the battle of the Bad- 
Axe, were also brought in by the Sioux, who being 
the ancient enemy of the Sacs and Foxes, seized 
upon this opportunity of waging war upon the reiia- 
nant of Black Hawk's band. They were placed 
by General Street, in the custody of Colonel Taylor. 

On the seventh of September, the prisoners were 
placed on board the steam boat" Winnebago, and 
sent down to Jefferson Barracks, a few miles b&- 
low St. Louis. The arrival of General Scott a 
the scene of action, was unfortunately delayed T? 
til after the campaign was closed, in conseqr tf \ 

176 LIFE OF BLACK £&W*. 

of the Asiatic cholera haying broken out, among th* 
troops under his command, while ascending the 
lakes. The disease continued to rage among them, 
with dreadful mortality, for some time after their 
arrival at Rock island. Of course, this campaign 
added -no new laurels to the military reputation of 
General Scott; but, by his humane and tireless ex- 
ertions for the alleviation of the sufferings of his . 
soldiers, he won for himself more true glory, than 
the most brilliant victory, over an Indian enemy, 
could confer. 

While at Rock Island, General Scott instituted 
some inquiries among the Indians, in regard to the 
difficulties between them and the whites. Among 
others interrogated was Naopope, the friend and 
counsellor of Black Hawk, who participated in the 
^campaign, and on account of his courage and skill 
as a warrior, directed to a great extent, the move- 
ments of the band, from the period of their recros- 
sing the Mississippi, until the battle of the Bad- Axe. 
pis statement confirms the declaration of Black 
Hawk* that in , coming over to the east side of the 
jiver, there was no intention of making war upon 
the frontier settlers; and that they really intended to 
surrender to Major Stilhnan, upon Sycamore creek, 
on the 14th of May, and actually sent a white flag, 
in evidence of their submission, which was fired 
upon by the American troops. 

"I always belonged to Black Hawk's band. 
Last summer I went to Maiden; when I came back, 
I found that by the treaty with General Gaines, 
the Sacs had moved across the Mississippi. I re 


mained during the winter with the Prophet, on 
Rpck river, thirty-five miles above the mouth. 
During the winter the Prophet sent me across the 
Mississippi, to Black Hawk, with a message, to tell 
him and his band to cross back to his village and 
make corn : that if the Americans came and told 
them to remove again, they would shake hands 
with them. If the Americans had come and told 
us to move, we should have shaken hands, and im T 
mediately have moved peaceably. We encamped 
on Sycamore creek. We met some Pottowatomies 
and made a feast for them. At that time I heard 
there were some Americans [under Maj. Stiilman] 
«iear us. I prepared a white flag to go and see them, 
and sent two or three young men on a hill to see 
what they were doing. Before the feast was fin- 
ished, I heard my young men were killed. This 
was at sunset. Some of my young men ran out; 
two killed, and the Americans were seen rushing 
on to our camp. My young men fired a few guns, 
and the Americans ran off, and my young men 
chased them about six miles." 

Naopope further stated that the Pottowatomies 
immediately left them, and that none of the Kickar 
poos ever joined them. A few of the Winnebagoes 
did, and brought in scalps at different times; but so 
soon as they discovered that the whites were too 
powerful for the Sacks, they turned round and 
fought against them. Some of the other witnesses 
examined on this- occasion, testify, that when 
Black Hawk saw the steam boat Warrior approach- 
nig thefn, on the first of August, he said he pitied 
8* • 



thfc women and children; and, having determined 
to surrender to the commander of the boat, raised a 
white flag which was immediately fired upon. This 
fact is stated in the letter of the C&ptain of the War-- 
ribr, and is corroborated by Lieutenant Kingsbury, 
who had charge of the troops on board; 

Among 4he prisoners delivered to General Street; 
was the prophet Wabokieshiek, or the White 
Ckrad^ a stout, shrewd looking Indian about forty 
years of age. This individual exercised consider 
able influence over Black Hawk and his band. 
He had a village, called after him, upon Rock river, 
where he usually resided, and was recognized 
among the village chiefs. l He claimed to be pari* 
Winnebago $nd part Sac, his father belonging to 
one and his mother to the other of these tribes. He 
wore 1 a full suit of hair, with a white head-dress 
rising several inches above the top of his hair — a 
style of dress suited, it is supposed, to his -profes- 
sion; He seems to have had sagacity and cunning 
— two qualities essential to the character of a 
prophet, and without which they could not long 
retain their influence and isacred character. Wa- 
bokieshiek has been represented as the priest of 
assassination, but the evidence on which this charge 
is rhade, seems to be wanting- He Was instrumen- 
tal in persuading "Black' Hawk and his party to re- 
turn to ihe east side of tl>e Mississippi in 1832, and 
went dowp to the mouth of Rock river to mfeet 
them, and encourage the belief that the Americans 
wmifd net interfere with them, so long" as they re- 
frained from any offensive operations. He made a 

^v^:.;^^ ^ 



speech to the braves and warriors of Black Hawk, 
in which he told them they had nothing to fear and 
much to gain: That the American war chief, would 
not molest them so long as they acted peaceably: 
That the time would come when they would be 
ready to pursue a different course; but that they 
must await such reinforcements as would enable 
them to resist the 'army ,of the whites. The Pro 
phet was either duped himself, or playing upon 
the credulity of Black Hawk and Naopope. He 
was constantly giving them assurances of assis- 
tance from the other tribes and from their British 
Father at Maiden. There may have been reason 
for expecting it' from the former, but none from 
the latter. He entertained strong prejudices against 
the whites, and being naturally prone to mischief 
making, was willing to stir up the Indians to re- 
sistance, without caring for the results that would 
be likely to follow a border war. The likeness 
of him, which is here given, is said to convey a 
good idea of his style of dress and the expression 
of his face. 

On the 21st of September, General Scott and 
Governor Reynolds concluded a treaty with the 
Winnebagoes, and the Sacs and Foxes; the pro- 
visions of which have been stated. For the faith- 
ful performance of it, on the part of the In- 
dians, it was stipulated that Black Hawk and his 
two sons, Wabokieshiek the Prophet, Naopope-and 
five otlw chiefs of the hostile band, should be re- 
tained as hostages during the pleasure of the Pres 


ident The remainder of the prisoners, capturea 
during the campaign, were set at liberty. 

In recurring to the causes which led to this war 
and the spirit and military skill with which it was 
conducted, there is nothing* on which a citizen of 
the United States can dwell with satisfaction. Look- 
ing alone to the official documents, that have been 
published on the subject, it would appear that the 
Indians were the aggressors — that they invaded the 
territory of the United States, marking their path 
with outrages upon the unoffending citizens; and 
that they were met, encountered, and defeated, un- 
der circumstances which shed renown upon the arms 
and humane policy of the government. Bat it is 
necessary, in doing justice to both parties in this 
contest, to destroy this flattering picture. 

Some of the causes which operated to render 
Black Hawk and his band, discontented with the 
conduct of the United States, and with their condi- 
tion upon the west side, of the Mississippi, have 
been enumerated. Whatever may have been their 
ulterior views, in returning within the limits of the 
state of Illinois, in the spring of 1S32, it cannot be 
supposed that they came with any immediate hos- 1 
tile intentions. Had they been determined upon 
war, they would neither have encumbered them- 
selves with their ^vives and children, nor have 
openly re-crossed the Mississippi, near to Fort Arm- 
strong, when they knew there was an officer of 
the United States army, with a body of troops, sta- 
tioned at that point, for the express purpose of pre- . 
serving peace upon the frontier. Such movements 


would hate been at variance with the well known 
military policy of the Indians. Judging from the 
success of General Gaines, in removing this same 
band, in 1831, without blood shed, to the west side 
of the Mississippi, it has been supposed, that a pa- 
cific conference between the commandant of Fort 
Armstrong and Black Hawk, in 1832, before he- 
had commenced his ascent up Rock river, would 
have resulted in the peaceable return of the In- 
dians to their own hunting grounds. The condi 
tion of things at tliat time, warrants such a belief, 
and the subsequent declarations of the Indians, 
strengthen the opinion, that had the experiment 
been made, it would have been successful.. It is 
true, that the commanding officer at Fort Arm- 
strong, sent two messages to Black Hawk upon 
this subject; but the first is represented by the In- 
dians to have been an order for them to return; and 
the second, that if they did not, they pursued 
and forced to re-cross the Mississippi. These efforts 
failed, but it does not follow that a friendly council'* 
upon the subject, would not have resulted differ- 
ently. ; 

Many causes operate in bringing about an In 
dian war, and in plunging the government of the 
United States, prematurely and unnecessarily, into 
it. There is generally upon the frontiers a class of 
persons who have nothing to lose, and much to . 
gain by such a contest. It gives them employment 
and circulates money among them. With such pi- 
oneer loafers, an Indian- war is always popular. 

184 LITft 0* BLACK JUWX. 

Then there is the " Indian Hater, "* a numerous 
and respectable body of men, to be found. upon 
the frontier settlements, who, from having suffer- 1 
ed in their persons and property by the bar- 
barities and plunder of the Indians, have cpme at 
length to look upon them as no better than the wild, - 
beasts of the forest, and whose many atrocities: 
' make it a moral duty, on the part of the whites, to 
exterminate by fire and the sword. Again there 
is the regular squatter and land speculator, whose 
interest is always promoted by a war, because 
it usually results in driving the Indians further 
back from the frontier. Intermixed with these 
classes, are many quiet and worthy citizens, who 
with their families, have been carried to the fron- 
tiers, in the ordinary course • of events, by the 
tide of emigration. These may have neither a de- 
sire for war nor a feeling of hostility towards the 
Indians, but when the tomahawk is raised, they 
contribute to swell the alarum, and oftentimes, by 
their very fears of a war, do much to bring it 
about. Finally, it is not to be disguised, that there 
are many individuals, in the states, who are prone 
to look to an Indian war, as a means of gratifying 
their love for adventure and excitement; or who, 
having political aspirations, are disposed to make 
the military renown, which may be. gained m a 
campaign, the means of attaining civic honors. 
It is obvious, if there be any foundation for these 
positions, that an Indian war may oftentimes be 

< Thig dwM is admirably described f»V the author of " T^geiuls of 
the West." 


undertaken without any just cause, prosecuted 
without system and terminated in dishonor to oiir 

When Black Hawk and his party rashly deter- 
mined, in the spring of 1832, to recross the Missis- 
sippi, a fine opportunity was presented, for getting 
up a border war, and the necessary machinery was 
speedily put in motion. The old chief, with a 
few hundred braves and their women and children, 
carrying with them their cooking utensils and per- 
sonal property, had no Sooner reached the east 
bank of the Mississippi, than the alarm note was 
sounded upon the frontier, and echoed from cabin 
to cabin, until it was spread throughout the state of 
Illinois. The most dreadful anticipations of savage 
cruelty were indulged — the force of Black Hawk 
was greatly magnified — his thirst for vengeance upon 
the whites was only to be appeased by blood— the 
>«tate was actually invaded by a powerful and re- 
morseless enemy ^— and memorials and petitions, for 
an armed force to repulse the invaders and protect 
the frontiers, flowed in upon the Governor, from all- 
quarters. Such was the excited state of public feed- 
ing, such the force of public sentiment, that little 
time was left for Executive deliberation. Gov- 
ernor Reynolds issued his proclamation, reiter- 
ating the dangers of the frontier, and calling foi;;a 
body of the militia to march and protect it. A call 
under such circumstances was promptly responded 
to, and in a short time, a large body of mounted 
volunteers, embracing many of the most respectable 
and influential citizens of IMinoi*, trere in the 

186 Lira 6r BticK tiAwk. 

vicinity of the invading foe, and ready for co-oper- 
ation with the regular troops- tinder General Atkin- 
son. A concentration of these two -forces was 
made at Dixon's ferry, on Rock river, about thirty 
miles below tjie encampment of Black Hawk and 
his party. Had a conference now been sought with 
the Indians, their prompt submission cannot be 
doubted. Black Hawk, whatever might ha ve v been 
his previous expectations, had received no addition 
of strength from other tribes — he was almost desti- 
tute of provisions — had Committed no act of hostility 
against the whites, and with all his women, chil- 
dren and baggage, was in the vicinity of an army, 
principally of mounted volunteers, many times 
greater than his own band of braves. Ho would 
probably have been glad of any reasonable pre- 
text for retracing his precipitate steps. Unfortun- 
ately no effort for a council was made. A body 
of impetuous volunteers dashed on, without caution 
pr order, to Sycamore creek, within three miles of 
"the camp of a part of Black Hawk's party. He in- 
stantly sent a white flag to meet them for the pur- 
pose of holding a council, and agreeing to return 
to the west side of the Mississippi* Unfortunately, 
for the cause of humanity, as well as the good faith 
of the United States, this flag was held to be but a 
4ecoy, and without waiting to ascertain its true 
character, the bearers of it were fired upon and one 
of them killed. An onset was. immediately made 
by Maj. Stillman upon Black Hawk, who finding 
there was no alternative but war, met our troops, 
and put them to flight, in the manner already de- 


scribed. Emboldened by his brilliant success in 
this engagement, and finding that he would not be 
permitted to capitulate, he sent out his war parties, 
removed his women and children up Rock river, 
and a regular border war was commenced. The 
murders which his men committed upon the fron- 
tier settlers, naturally increased the alarm through- 
out the state, additional volunteers rushed to the 
seat of war, and the commanding General com- 
menced His military operations for a regular oam- 
jpaign. In about two months, Black Hawk, having 
lost many of his men, in the different skirmishes 
with the American troops, and not a few of his 
women and children by actual starvation, found 
himself upon the bank of the Mississippi, endeavor- 
ing to escape the pursuing enemy, by crossing to 
the west side of that stream. While engaged in 
this act, the steam boat Warrior, having an armed 
force on board, ascended the river for the purpose 
of cutting off his retreat Once more Black Hawk 
raised the white flag, and sought to surrender 
himself and his whole band, to the whites. Again 
his flag was looked upon as a decoy, and in fifteen 
minutes, a round of canister shot, from the boat, 
was fired, with deadly fatality into the midst of his 
men, women and children. The following morn- 
ing, the main army, under General Atkinson, 
reached the scene of action. His force must have 
been six or eight times greater than that of the In- 
dians, and by a judicious movement, the latter was 
promptly surrounded on three sides by the pur- 
siting army, while oto the other, Hie steam boat 


Warrior, the waters of the Mississippi, and a band 
of hostile Sioux on its west bank, precluded all 
chance of escape in that quarter. A demand upon 
the Indians, at this time, to surrender, uncondition- 
ally, would undoubtedly have been mpst cheerfully 
acceded to. But it appears not to have been made. 
It is probable that General Atkinson whose char- 
acter for humanity, has always stood high, could 
not restrain the impetuosity of his troops long 
enough to propose a capitulation. They had been 
deeply excited by the murders perpetrated by the 
Black Hawk band — had been harassed by a long 
and fatiguing march — and perhaps felt, that die re- 
sults of the campaign, thus far, had been rather in- 
glorious to their arms. These causes may have 
conspired to precipitate them into a battle, which 
had been better spared than fought, inasmuch as 
it resulted, necessarily, in the death of a great many 
miserable women and children, who were already 
"on the brink of the grave, from hunger and exhaus- 

A brief recapitulation of a few of the events of 
this disastrous campaign, has thus been made, for 
the purpose of showing, that however hostile Black 
Hawk and his band may have been, originally, to- 
wards the whites, he did not make the first attack 
upon them; and that the war might in all proba- 
bility have been prevented,. or arrested in any stage 
of its progress, by the exercise of that forbearance, 
good faith and sound policy, which should ever be 
cherished by the United States. 

The official report of General Atkinson to Gener- 


al Macomb, aftet the battle of the Bad-axe has been 
quoted in full. On the 25th of November 1802. 
the Secretary at War, Mr. Cass, in his annual re- 
port to the President, says, hi speaking of this cam- 
paign, •--■."'*- 

" General Atkinson, with the regular troops And 
militia under his. comtnand, pursued the Indiansf 
through a country very difficult to be penetrated, 
of which little was known, and where much exer- 
tion was required to procure' regular supplies. 
These circumstances necessarily delayed the opera- 
tions, and were productive of great responsibility 
u the commanding officer, and of great sufferings 
and. privations to afl employed in this harassing 
warfare. The Indians, however, were driven from 
their fastnesses, and fled towards the Mississippi, 
with the intention of seeking refuge in the country- 
west of that river. They were immediately follow* 
ed by General Atkinson, With a mounted force, 
overtaken, and completely vanquished. The ar- 
rangements of the commanding general, as well in 
the pursuit as in the action, were prompt and judi- 
cious, and the conduct of the officers and men was 
exemplary. The campaign terminated in the un- 
qualified submission of the hostile party, and in the 
adoption of measures for the permanent security of 
tne frontiers, and the result has produced upon the 
Indians of that region, a salutary impression, which 
it is to ba hoped will prevent the recurrence of 
similar scenes*" ' ; 

On the 25th of October 1839, General Macomb 


190 LIFE Of JlfcAOK BJOm 

transmitted to General Atkinson, the following tet- 
ter, from the Secretary at War. . - 

Department at War, Oct 24tLu 1832. 

Sib: The return of the President to the seat of 
government, enables me to communicate to' you 
his sentiments in relation to the operations and re* 
suit of the campaign, recently conducted under 
your orders, against the hostile Indians; and it is 
with great pleasure, I have received his instruc- 
tions to inform you, that he appreciates the difficul- 
ties you had to encounter; and that he has been 
highly gratified at the termination of your arduous 
and responsible duties. Great privations and em- 
barrassments, necessarily attendsach a Warfare, and 
particularly in the difficult country occupied by the 
enemy. The arrangements which led to the de- 
feat of the Indians, were adopted with judgment 
and pursued with decision, and the result was hon- 
orable to yourself, and' to the officers and men 
acting under your orders. > 

I will thank you to communicate to the forces 

that served with you, both regulars and militia, the 

. feelings of the . President upon this occasion. I 

have the honor to be very respectfully, your obt 

servant i-E wis Cass. 

Gen. H. Atkinson, Jeffereon^kmickB, Miaaouii. 

In the report of the Secretary at War which has 
just been referred to, there is the following state- 
ment ef the causes which led to this contest. « The 
recent hostilities, commenced by the Sac and Fox 


Indians, may be traced to causes, which have been 
for some time in operation, and which left little 
doubt upon the minds of those acquainted with the 
savage character, that they were determined to 
commit some aggression upon the frontier. The 
confederated tribes of the Sacs and Foxes have been 
long distinguished for their daring spirit of adven-" 
ture and for their restless and reckless disposition. 
At the commencement of the eighteenth century, 
one of these tribes made a desperate attempt to 
seize the post of Detroit; and during a period of 
forty years, subsequent to that effort, they caused 
great trouble and embarrassment to the French colo- 
nial government, which was only terminated by a 
most formidable military expedition, sent by that en- 
terprizing people into their remote regions west of 
Green Bay. During the last war with Great Britain, 
this confederacy entered zealously into the contest, 
and was among the most active and determined of 
our enemies. After the peace their communication 
with the Canadian authorities was preserved; and, 
in every year, large parties of the most influential 
chiefs and warriors visited Upper Canada, and re- 
turned laden with presents. That this continued in- 
tercourse kept alive feelings of attachment to a for- 
eign power and weakened the prober and necessa- 
ry influence of the United States, is known to eve- 
ry one who has marked the progress of events and 
conduct of the Indians upon the north western 
frontier. The tribes upon the upper Mississippi, 
particularly the Sacs and Foxes and Winnebago**, 
confident in their position and in their natural con- 



rage, and totally ignorant of the vast disproportion 
between their power, and .that of the United States, 
have always been discontented, keeping the frontier 
in alarm, and continually committing some outrage 
upon the persons or property of the inhabitants. 
All this is the result of impulse, and is the necessa- 
ry and almost inevitable consequence of institu- 
tions, which make war the great object of life* It 
is not probable, that any Indian seriously bent up- 
on hostilities, ever stops to calculate the force of 
the white man, and tp estimate the disastrous con- 
sequences, which we know must be the result. He 
is impelled onward in his desperate career, by pas- 
sions which are fostered andencouraged by the whole 
frame of society; and he is, very probably, stimu- 
lated by the predictions of some fanatical leader, 
who promises him glory,, victory and scalps. 

"In this state of feeling, and with these incite- 
ments to war, the Sacs and Foxes claimed the right 
of occupying a part of the country on Rock river, 
even after it had been sold to citizens of the United 
States, and settled by them. In 1829 and in 1830, * 
serious difficulties resulted from their efforts to es- 
tablish themselves in that sectkm,. and frequent 
collisions were the consequence. Representations 
were made to them, and every effort, short of actual 
hostilities^ used by the proper officers, to induce 
them to abandon their unfounded pretensions, and 
to confine themselves to their own country on the 
west side of the Mississippi jiver. These efforts 
were successful, with the well disposed portion, of 
the tribes, but were wholly unavailing with the 


band known by* the name of the " British party." 
Ih 1831, their aggressions were so serious, and the 
altitude they assumed, so formidable, that a con- 
siderable detachment of the army, and of the militia 
of Illinois, was called into the field; and the dis r 
affected Indians, alarmed by the preparation for their 
chastisement, agreed to reside and hunt, "upoii 
their own lands west of the Mississippi river," and 
that they would not re-cross this river to the usual 
place of their residence, nor to any part of their old 
hunting grounds east of the Mississippi, without the 
express permission of the President of the United 
States, or the Governor of the state of Illinois. 

" This arrangement had scarcely been concluded, 
before a flagrant outrage was committed, by a party 
of these Indians, upon a band of friendly Menomo-' 
mies, almost under the guns of Fort Crawford. 
Twenty-five persons were wantonly murdered, and 
many wounded, while encamped in the Prairie du 
Chien, and resting in fancied security upon our 
soil, and under our flag. If an act like this, had 
been suffered to pass unnoticed and unpunished, a 
war~between these tribes would have been the con- 
sequence, in which our frontiers would have been 
Involved, and the character and influence of the 
government, would have been lost in the opinion 
of the Indians. .^ 

" Apprehensive, from the course of events already 
stated, and from other circumstances, that the dis- 
affected band of Sacs and Foxes, would again har- 
ass and disturb the settlements upon our borders, 
and determined tha* the murderers of the Meno- 
* R 


jnenies should be surrendered or taken, the depart- 
ment ordered General Atkinson, on. the 7th of 
March last, to ascend the Mississippi with the dis- 
posable regular troops at Jefferson barracks, and to 
carry into effect the instructions issued by your 
direction. Still further to strengthen the frontiers, 
orders were given for the re-occupation of Chicago. 

" The demand for the surrender of the Meno- 
mehie murderers was entirely disregarded: and the 
British party of the Sacs and Foxes re-crossed the 
Mississippi, and assuming a hostile attitude, estab- 
lished themselves upon Rock river. The subse- 
quent events are well known, and the result has 
already been stated in this report." 

In the annual report of Maj. General Macomb 
to Congress, of November 1832, very much the 
same positions are taken in regard to the causes 
which led to this contest with the Indians, that are 
contained in the report from the War Department. 
Its leading object seems to be* to place the United 
States in the right — the Indians in the wrong. 

It is to be regretted that the Honorable Secretary, 
whose opinions and statements on all subjects con- 
nected witK the Indians, carry with them great 
weight, had not been more explicit, in assigning the 
causes which led to the late war, with a portion 
of the Sacs and Foxes. It is not to be supposedl 
that the Secretary would designedly omit any thing, 
which in his opinion, was necessary, to a fair pre- 
sentation of this matter; but as the case stands, his 
statement does not, it is believed; do justice to the 
Indians. The Secretary says the Sacs and Foxes 

fill & *F BLACK < 8 AWKi 195 

«have always been-disoamtented, keeJpiflgthe fron- 
tier in alarm, and coatinuaUy^ committing, flome out- 
rage on the persons or property of the inhabitants," 
Between the treaty of peace at Portage des Sioux, 
ia f 1816, wd the attack of Major Stillman, in 183% 
it is supposed that the Sacs and Foxes never killed 
que American; and, their aggressions rnpon the^per- 
sons -and property of the whites, consisted princi- 
pally,: in an, ^attempt to retain possession of- their 
village and; corja-fieMs, when pressed tipc?* by the 
white sellers* whe^iu, violation of the laws of Con 
gresfc and express treaty provisions, were c6rai!nit- 
ting outrages upon the Indians: The report of the 
Secretary? fyrthep states, that the Safes aild Foxes 
"claimed the -riglft: pjf. -occupying a part of the 
country upo^^Rock river, eyen after it had been 
sold to, citizens, of thcfrUmfed'States^zind setrted by 
them. 9 ' ©ut the.repott does «ot stated that under 
the treaty : xtf 1804>:by wfcifeh these lands were ced« 
ed, it: is expressly provided- that so* long as ihef 
remain the. ptoperty •fithe Uriited States, the In- 
dians* of said <^bes shail' enjoy.4he privilege of 
"giving and hunting upon- &em;?itdoesino(t stale' 
that ion six or eight years before the gov-eifonafertt 
had sold'to acre of Jandriipoh Roek river, the white* 
sptllerf were there, in violation, of the laws; ties* 
p&sskjg upon these ifiidians; and thus creating 4liati 
very hostility of feelingy whiehy is subsequently 'cited ; 
as a reason forAedhnstisenieTit inilictedupon them 
by tho** United States*: it dofes?nbt~state, that in- the i 
year l££9, goirernmenVfair the < purpose of creating-' 

IM ure- of black > haws; 

river, directed a few quarter s|ctions of land,' in 
eluding the -.'Sac village, to be sold, although the 
frontier settlements of Illinois had net then reached 
7*ilhin fifty or sixty miles of that place, and mHIiofls 
#f acres of Jand around it, were Unoccupied and tnfe 
sold: it does not state that instead of requiring the 
I&dia&s to remove from the quarter sections thus 
prematurely sold, to other lands on Rock rive** 
owned by the United States, and oft which, undfcr 
the treaty, they had a right to hunt and reside, 
they were commanded to remove to the west si(K 
of the Mississippi: it does not state, that the^seifibus 
aggressions" and "formidable attitude** dfcstfmed' 
by the " British party," in 1831, consisted in their 
attempt to raise a crop of corn and bean*?, in throw- 
ing down the fences of the Whites who were en- 
closingp their fields, in ^pointing deadly weapbns*^ 
at them and in " stealing their potatoes*" it does 
not state that the murder of the Menominfe In- 
dians, at Fort Grawford, by a party of fee " British 
band," was in retaliation, fdr a similar "flagrant 
outrage," committed the summer previous, by the 
Menominies, upon Peaih-mus-ka, a principal chief 
nf the Foxes and nine or ten of his tribe, whd J were' 
going up to Prakifef des Chiens on busfri£s& and 
were within one day's travel of that place? it does 
not state that one reason assigned by the "British 
party" for refusing to surrender the murderers of 
the Menomifcievwas the feet that the government 
had not made a amilar demand of Aai tribe for the 
murderers of the Sacst* it does not state that the 
"-foutila* attitudeVkssftmadby the Sacs and F*xe*/ 

UFS, OF BL4CHL #***, 1J*} 

in 1832, after recusing the Mississippi, and then: 
establishment or*, .Rock river, simply amounted to 
this; that they came oyer with their women and 
children for the avowed purpose of raising a crop 
of corn with the Winnebagoei— wer^ temporarily 
encamped on that stream— Jbad conunitted no out- 
rage upon person or property — a.nd were actually 
engaged in entertaining some guests with a dog- 
feast, when the Illinois militia approached their 
camp, and kille4 the bearer of a whitq flag, which 
Black Hawk sent to them, in token of his peaceable 
disposition. , These may be unimportant omissions, 
in thfe opinion of the Secretary, but in Rooking to 
the causes which led to this contest, and the spirit 
in which it was conducted, they have been deemed^ 
of sufficient importance, to receive a passing notice, 
when referring to his report. 

The opinion has been expressed more than once 
in the course of this work, tha( there was in reality, 
no necessity for this war. A firm but forbearing 
course of policy, on the. part of the United States, 
towards this discontented fragment of the Sacs and 
Foxes, would, it is believed, have ^prevented any 
serious aggression upon, our people or.their proper- 
ty. Certain it is, that a few thousand dollars, 
superadded to a humane? spirit of conciliation, would 
have effected the permanent removal of Black 
Hawk and his ban£* to the west sid§ pf the Missis- 
sippi: pn&x as the government was not contending 
with them, in support of its, natioyial faith,, nor 
stbout to pynish them for an insult to it% p^ioqal 
honour, there could hare-been no. diisgriice* in pur- 


fro Lihw Ar'BLACK haw*: 

diasln^ the settlement of the mfficulfr^/ on siidh 
t#rri& It has been stated thaft in the spring 6f 1331 , 
Stick Hawk agtefed tb remote h& band to the west 
side of thfc Mississippi, and relinquish all claims to 
the lands tipto Rock river,' if the United States 
would pay iiim six thousand dollars, with which id 
purchase provisions and Other necessities' for his 
people; and th&t the Indian agent at St. Louis* was 
informed of this fact. Moreover, it has been 'pub- 
licly alleged that before the campaign* 1 against 
Black Hawk, in the summer of 1852, the firtsident 
and Secretary at War, were both hrfbrmed, that the 
* British Band" of the Sacs atifl Fortes-' could be 
peaceably removed to the west side of the Missis- 
sJjTjttfor six or eight thousand dollars. *The secre- 
tary was assured, in the presence of a member oPebik 
gress, that the inquiry had been made by a person 
feiiiiliar with the Indians, 'and tlie feet of their , 
wfllihgness to remove upon these "terms distinctly 
ascertained.* ' 

Under the treaty of 1804, the Sads and' Poxes 
ceded to the United States, more than twenty mil- 
lions of acres bf first rate l&tid, for less than twenty 
thousand dollars. Black Hawk not ctolyi:contettded 
for the invalidity of this tf fealty, but . insisted that 
the price paid by the United- States \ras wholly be^ 
low the valtt^ 6( the l&id; Under such circum- 
stances, the course of the government was obvious 
-*-to have 'quieted the comflaints^of tfce Indians 
and: securedlhSir peaceable rembtal to the west, by 
a second purchase of their interest to the territory 

~ * Bet 1 St. Louis Tfi^ <of TSfh April, IS** 1 


in question. Had'*it cost twenty, fifty or one' hun- 
dred thousand dollars, to efect thi$ object, our 
country would still have been the gainer, both by. 
the preservation of the national faith and the na- 
tional treasure — for the former was wantonly vio- 
lated, and the latter uselessly squandered. The 
contest with Black Hawk and his party, destroyed 
the lives of four or five hundred Indian men, wo- 
men and children — about two hundred citizens of 
the United States — and cost the government near 
two millions of dollars ! Such are the results of a 
war commenced, and waged by a great nation, up- 
on a remnant of poor ignorant savages;— a war 
which had its origin in avarice and political ambi- 
tion, which was prosecuted in bad faith and closed 
in dishonor. 


il .„, ,-ope, the Prophet and others confined at Jeflereon 

Barracks— In April 1833 sent to Washington — Interview with the 
President— sent to Fortress Monroe — Their release — Visit the east* 
ern cities — Return to the Mississippi — Conference at Rock island be* 
tween Maj. Garland, Keokuk, Black Hawk and other chiefs — speech- . 
es of Keokuk, Pashshepaho and Black Hawk — Final discharge Of th# 
hostages — Their return to their families — Black Hawk's visit to Waak • 
ington in 1837 — His return — His personal appearance — Military tal- 
ents 1 — Intellectual and moral character. ^ 

Black Hawk, his two sons, Naopope, Wabokie- 
sheik, and the other prisoners, who under the treaty 
of 21st September, were to be held as hostages, 
during the pleasure of the president, having been 
sent down the Mississippi, to Jefferson Barracks, " 
under charge of Lieutenant Davis, were immedi- 
ately put in irons, a measure of precaution, appa- 
rently, as unnecessary as it was cruel. 

"We were now confined," says the old chief, 
"to the barracks, and forced to wear the ball ana 
chain ! This was extremely mortifying^ and alto- 
gether useless. Was the White Beaver [Gen. At- 
kinson] afraid that I would break out of his bar- 
racks and run away ? Or was he ordered to inflict 
this punishment upon me ? If I had taken him pris- 
oner upon the field of battle, I would nfct have woun- 
ded his feelings so much, by such treatment, know- 
ing that a brave war chief would prefer death to 
dishonor. But I do not blame the White Beaver 
for the course he pursued — it is the custom among 
white soldiers, and I suppose was a part of his 


UFE *>F BLACK HAW ft. 204 

"The time, dragged ^eavily and ,gtoomily along 
throughput the winter, although the White Beavej 
did every thing in his power to render us comfor* 
table. Having been accustomed throughout a long 
life, to roam through the forests— -to copte and gq 
at liberty. — confinement under any such cirQumstan* 
ces, could not be Less than torture. . 

«.We passed a>tfay tjae time making pipes, until 
spring, when we wer$ visited by the #geut, , trader* 
and interpreter, from Rpc^ Island, Keokqk, and $e<- 
veral chiefs audr braves of our qation,.&nd my wife 
and daughter. X was r^oiced to see the two latter, 
and spent my time very agreeably with them and 
my people as long as they remained." 

During the winter they were visited by a great 
number of persons, ope of whom remarks, " We 
were immediately struck with admiration at the gi r 
gantic and symmetrical figures of mosjt of the war- 
riors, who seemed as they reclined, in. native ease 
and gracefulness, with tlieir half naked bodies ex? 
posed to view, rather like statues from .some mas- 
ter hand, than beings of a race whom we had he^rd 
characterized as degenerate and debased.. They 
were dad in leggins and moccasins of buckskin, 
and wore blankets, which .were thrown around 
them in the manner of the Rom^n toga, so as t<j 
leave their, right arms bare. , The youngest among 
'them were painted on their necks, with a bright 
vermilion color, and had their faces transversely 
streaked, with alternate red and bl^ck stripes. 
From their faces and eyebrows, they pluck out tb* 
hair with the inost as^iduoyscsgre. Thejy.also.^avjJ 

£08 L1*K 07 BLACK ft A\tf*i 

or pull it out ftorii their Tieads^ with the exception 
bf a tuft about tftrefe fingers width, extending from 
between the forefhead and crown to the back of the 
head; this they sometimes plait into a queue on the 
crown, and cut the edges of it down to an inch in 
lengthy 'and plaster it with the Vermilion which 
keeps it erect, and gives it the appearance of a 
dock's comb." The same writer adds, that, « but 
for the want of that peculiar expression which 
emanates from a cultivated intellect," Nasinewis- 
kuk, the eldest son of Bl&ck Hawk; could have 
** been looked Upon as the very personification df the 
itauideal of manly beauty." Aftiong their many visi- 
ters while at this place, was the distinguished author 
of the '« Sketch Book," who in "4 letter, Under date 
of 18th of Dec. 1832, says, "From St. Louis, I went 
to Fort Jefferson, about nine miles distant, to see 
Black HaWk, the Indian warrior and his fellow 
prisoners-^a forlorn crew— emaciated and dejected 
— the redoubtable chieftain himself, a meagre old 
man upwards of seventy. He has, however, a 
fine head, a Roman style of face, and a prepossess- 
ing countenance."* When Catlin the artist, visited 
Jefferson Barracks for the purpose of painting the 
portraits of these chiefs, and was about to commence 
the likeness of NaopOpe, he seized the ball and 
chain that 1 Were fastened to his leg, and raising 
them cm high, exclaimed with a look of scorn* 

• *< The Book of the Indians of North' America,* by Samuel O. 
Djakcof Boston, containing much interesting matter about die aborig- 
ines of this countryman J from which we have copied several of the 
igeecte' mode upon tte ' • *' 



« make me so, and show me to the great father/ 9 
Upon the artist's refusing io^paint him as he wished, 
he Hept varying his countenance with grimaces, tq 
prevent him from catching a likeness. _ 

Poring the visit of Keokuk to Jefferson Barracks* 
he made exertions to obtain the release of the pris-^ 
oners, pledging himself to the Indian agent, at Sk 
Louis, and to General Atkinson, to be responsible 
for their good conduct in future. Soon afterwards, 
however, the General received orders from the sec- 
setaiy at war to have the prisoners sent to Wash- 
ington city. -T It was in the latter part of April, 183S, 
that they reached the capitol, under the escort of $lq 
officer of the army. In the first interview between 
President Jackson and Black Hawk, the latter is re- 
presented to have said, " I am a man and you are 
another."' In the course of then: interview, the Pre- 
sident informed him that lie and his companions 
must proceed on the following day to Fortress 
Monroe, there to remain, -until- the conduct of their 
people at home was such as to justify their being 
set at liberty. In reply to this, the Prophet said, 
«,We expected to return immediately to our people. 
The war In which wd have been involved was oc-^ 
casioried by our attempting to raise provisions on 
our own lands, 3 or where we ; thought we had a right 
so to do. We have lost many of bur people, as 
well as the wBites. Our tribes and families are now v 
exposed to the attacks of our enemies, the Sioux, 
and the Menominies. We hope, therefore, to be'per* 
naitted to return home ,to take -care of them." 
Black Hawk concluded his addfiesss to the President, 

204 hit B OF BLACK ttAWK 

which embraced a history ^of the late war, by say- 
ing, " We did tibt expert to conquer the whites, no. 
They had too many houses, too many men. I took 
up the hatchet, for my part, to revenge injuries" 
which my people could no longer endure. Had I 
borne them longer without striking, my people 
would have said, Black Hawk is a woman. He 
is too old to be a chief — he is no Sac. These re- 
flections caused me to raise the war-whoop. I say 
no more of it; it is known to you. Keokuk once 
was here; you took him by the hand, and when *e 
wished to return to his home, you were willing. 
Black Hawk expects, that, like Keokuk, we shall 
be permitted to return too." The President gave 
them assurances that their women and children 
should be protected from the Sioux and the Menomi- 
nies*, and that so soo» as he was satisfied that peace 
was restored on the frontiers, they should be per- 
mitted to return home. 

On the 26th of April, they set off for Fortress 
Monroe, at Old Point Comfort, where they remain- 
ed until the fourth of June, when, ah order was re- 
ceived, from the President, by the commanding of- 
ficer, for the liberation of the Indian captives. The 
kind treatment of the prisoners by Colonel Eustis, 
then in command at Fortress Monroe, had won 
greatly upon their regard. When about to depart* 
Black Hawk waited upon the Colonel, and said; — > 

" Brother, I have come on my own part, and in 
behalf of my companions, to bid you farewelL Our 
great father has at length been pleased to permit us 
to return to our hunting grounds. We have buried 

UFE OT 8S40X HAWK. 3tfr 

th«l tomanawk, and the sound of the? rifld will here-* 
after only bring death to the deer and the buffalo. 
Brother, you h*ve treated the red men very Mildly. 
Your squaws have made them presents,- and yoU* 
have given them plenty to eat and drink. The: 
memory of your friendship will remain till the 
Great Spirit says it is time for Black Hawk to sing/ 
his death-song. Brother, your houses are as numer- 
ous as the leaves upon the trees, and your young- 
warriors, like the sands upon ttie shore of the big 
lake that roHs before us. The red man has but fe^ 
houses, and^few warriors, but the red man has a 
heart which throbs as warmly as the heart of his 
white brother; The Great Spirit has given us» 
our hunting grounds, and the skin of the deer 
which we kill there, is his favorite, for its color i& 
white, and this is the emblem of peace; . This hunt- 
ing dress and these feathers of the eagle are white. 
Accept them, my brother; I have given one like 
this to the White Otter. Aceept of it as a memorial 
of Black Hawk. —When he is far away this.itilfr 
serve to remind you of him. May the -Great Spirit 
bless you and your children— farewell.*' . • 

On the fifth of June ; under the charge of Major 
John Garland of the United States army, Mack 
Hawk and his five companions, took theitf depar- 
ture from Fortress Monroe. .Before leaving thfc 
Chesapeake, they visited .Norfolk and the Navy 
Yard at Gosport. They were taken on board tlifr 
Delaware, 74, and' were much delighted with it* 
appearance. Blade Hawk expressed a strong de- 

8 ; • ).:., 


me to see the chief who commanded it, and ta.tafcef 
the man who built it, by the hitnd: > • *.> 

At Norfolk 8L large concourse of persons visited' 
them. Wabokieshiek, the prophet, Addressed them 
from the balcony of their hotel, as follow^: 

« The Great Spirit sent us her6, and now happily 
we are about to ; retum,tqr.Qur own Mississippi, and) 
oar own people. It affords u$ much, happiness to 
rejoin pur friends and kihdiecL. We would shako 
hands with all our white friends assembled here. 
Should any of them go to our country on the Mis- 
sissippi, we would take pleasure in returning- their 
kindness to us. : We will go home With peaceable* 
dispositions towards our white brethren* and make 
oar conduct hereafter, more satisfactory to thenu* 
We bid you all farewell, as it is the last time We 
shall see etich other." • 

Black Hawk' made a -few remarks, and at one 
o'clock, June the fifth, they starred for Baltimore; 
which place they reachedat elevtea;o*ck>ck on the 
following day, and werie greeted by tfowds of 
curious spectator^ i The ienown of felack ,Hawk 
had every where preceded hiiri, and all were anx- 
ious to behold the old chief whose name and deeds . 
had excited so much commotion on the frontiers of 
the riorth West The President happened to he in 
Baltimore at thesatne time, arid, the " monumental 
city" was never, perhaps, honored by th* presence 
of two more distinguish^ ^Iikis'^tip^a the ssama 
day, than upou this occasion^ ' Tflwiy both attended 
the theatre on the evening of the^iSfcth^ and, it is 
said, that the attention ofthe house was very equal- 

LIRE* OF BLACK ■ AWfe 907 

ly divided; between them. On this following day 
an interview took place between them, when the 
President said to the old chief ;-— • * ; 

" When I saw you in Washington* 1 told you 
that yon had behaved very badly, in raising the 
tomahawk against the white people, and killing 
men, women and children upon the frontier. Your 
conduct last yd&r, compelled, me Xo send my war- 
riors against you, and your people were defeated, 
with great loss, and your men surrendered, fa be 
kept until I should be satisfied, that you would not 
fry to do anymore injury. I told you,- 1 would en- 
quire whether your people wished yotr to return, 
and, whether if you did return, there would be any 
danger to the frontier. Gen. Clark and Gen* Atkin- 
son, whom you know^have informed me that Sheo 
kak, your principal chief, and the res* of your 
people are anxious you should return, and Keokuk 
has asked me to send you back. Your chiefs have 
pledged themselves for your good conduct, and I 
have given directions that you should be taken to 
your own country. . » - 

"$Iaj. Garland who is with you will conduct you 
through some of our towns. You will see the 
strength of the white people, You will see that 
our voting men are as numerous, as theLjeaves in 
the woods. What can you do against us ? You 
may kill a few women and children, but such a force 
would soon be sent against you> as would, destroy 
your whole tribe. Let the red nfen hunt and taKe 
£&re bf their families, but I hope they will not again 
Mraise their hserids agfcaist their white imettaren, ,. W* 


do not wish to injure you. We desire'^* 
perity and, improvement But if yoti again, plunge 
your knives into the breasts of pur people, I shall 
send a force, which will severely -punish you for 
ail; your cruelties. When you go back, listen to the 
councils of Keokuk and the other friendly chiefs. 
Bury the tomahawk and live in, jpeace with the 
frontiers. And I pray the Great. Spirit to give you 
a smooth path and a fair sky to return." 

The reply of Black Hawk to this address, w$£ 
brief, and the Prophet merely said, ; 
. «Myfether,-*-my ears are: open, to ypur worda. 
I am glad to hear them. I a*n glad to go baok to 
my people. I want to see my family. I did not 
behave well last summer. I ought not to have taken 
up the tomahawk. But my people. have suffered 
a great deal. When I get back I will remember 
your words. I wont go to wax again. I will live 
in peace. . I shall hold you by the hand." 

The object of the President, in directing the cap- 
tives to be taken home through some of the princi- 
pal cities of the union, was to exhibit tp them the 
.extent of the. population, wealth, and m&ins 6f de- 
-fisnce of the Ukrited States; in the hope, that such 
impressions* would be made on. their minds, as 
would induce them to refrain from creating distur- 
bances in future upon the frontiers. They were 
accordingly, directed to be carried as far north as 
Boston, and thenee through Albany, Buffalo and 
'Detroit, to their own couritry. * 

Thfc captives readied Philadelphia on the 10th of 
Jtine, and remained at Owgips Hall, until the 

ilfl Of BLAO* HAWK. 20Q. 

14th. During their stay in the city, which was 
prolonged to four or five days, they visited the 
United States' Mint, the Fair Mount Water Works 
and other objects of curiosity. They had also an 
opportunity of witnessing a grand military dis- 
play in front of their quarters in Congress Hall. 
Black Hawk wished to know if these were the 
same soldiers, who were in his country last sum- 
mer. In making reference to his late contest 
with the United States, he said to those around 

" My heart grew bitter against the whites, aid 
my hands strong. I dug up the tomahawk, 
and led on my warriors to fight. I fought hard. I 
was no coward. Much blood was shed. But the 
white men were mighty. They were many as the 
loaves of the forest. I and my peoplfe failed. 1 am 
sorry the tomahawk was raised. I have been a 
prisoner. I see the strength of the white men. 
They are many, very many. The Indians are but 
few. They are not cowards. They are brave, but 
•they ax$ few. While the Great Spirit above, keeps 
my heart as it now is, I will be the white man's 
friend. I will remain in peace. I will go to my 
people and speak good of the white man. I will, 
tell them, they are. as the leaves of the forest. Very 
many — very strong; and that I will fight no more 
against them." 

On the morning of the 14th, they set off for New 

York, and reached that city at 5 P. M. and had an 

opportumty, at the moment of their arrival at the 

Battery, of beholding the greatest assemblage o£ 

■V ' ; • ■'■*; 



people they had yet seen, drawn together to wit- 
ness the ascent of a balloon from Castle Garden. 
This novel spectacle, greatly astonished the Indians, 
and one of them asked the prophet, if the aeronaut 
was "going to see the Great Spirit." When the 
crowd ascertained that Black Hawk and his party 
were on the steam boat, the air resounded with 
shouts of welcome. Upon their landing, such was 
the press of the multitude to get a look at the 
strangers, that they could not reach their lodgings 
Until placed in carriages, and committed to the 
charge of the police officers. They were finally, 
with much difficulty, taken to the Exchange Hotel, 
which was immediately surrounded by thousands 
of people, who would not retire to their houses, 
until". " General Black Hawk," had presented him- 
self several times at the window, and graciously 
bowed to the eager arid admiring multitude. Dur- 
ing their whole visit to the city of New York, they 
were treated with marked attention. Their rooms 
were crowded, daily, with ladies and gentlemen, 
and they were conducted with ceremony to the 
theatres, the public gardens, the arsenal, and other 
places of interest. Speeches were made to them, 
and they received many handsome presents. Among 
other civilities, John A. Graham, Esq., waited up- 
on them, and made the following address. 

"Brothers, open your ears* You are brave men. 
You have fought like tigers, but in a bad cause. 
We have conquered you. We were sorry last year, 
that you raised the tomahawk against us; but we 
believe" you did not knosr lis then as you do now. 

iiW ov iiicii HA#i. fill 

-We think that in time to cortie, you WilTbe wise 
and that we shall be friends forever. You see that 
we ate a great people — -numerous as the flowers of 
the field, as the shells oh the sea-shore, or the fish 
iti the seat. We put cine hand on' the eastern, and, 
&t the same time, the other on the western ocean. 
We alt aet together. If some time our great men 
talk long and loud at our council fires, but shed one 
drop of white men's blood, our young Warriors, 
as thick as the stars of the night, will leap on board 
'&£ m 'dtir great boats, Which fly ori the waves, and 
over the lakes— swift as tfie eagle>in the air-— then, 
penetrate the woJMs, make the tig guns thunder, 
and the whole heavens red with the flames of the 
dwellrtigs of their enemies. Brothers, the President 
has made you ia great talk. He has but one mouth. 
That one has sounded the sentiments of all the 
people. Listen to what he has sgid to you. Write 
it on your mertiories. It' is good — very good. 

" Black Hawk, take these jewels, a pair of topaz 
earrings, beautitfutlyset in gold, for your wife, or 
daughter, as a token of friendship, keeping always 
nl mind, that women and children are the favorites 
bf the Great Spirit. These jewels are from an old 
man, whose head is whitened with the snows of 
seventy winters, an old man who has thrown down 
his bow, put off his sword, and now stands leaning 
on his staff, waiting the coknmands of the Great 
Spirit. . Look around you, see all this, mighty peo- 
ple, then go to your homes, open your arms, to re- 
ceive your families. Tell them to bury the hatchet, 
to make bright the chain of friendship, to' love the 

319 IJTK. Of PLiCK HAWi:. 

white men, and to live in peace with them, as lopg 
as the rivers run into the sea, and the sun rises apd 
sets. If you do so, you will be happy. You will 
then ensure the prosperity of unborn generations 
•f 'your tribes, who will go band in hand with the 
sons of the white men, and all shall be blessed by 
the Great Spirit. Peace and happiness by the bles- 
sing of the Great Spirit attend you. Farewell/* 
Black Hawk accepted the present and said in re- 

" Brother, we like your talk. We will be friend^. 
We like the white people. They are very kind to 
us. We shall not forget it Your counsel is good. 
We shall attend to it Your valuable present shall 
go to my squaw. We shall always be friends." 

While at New York, Major Garland came to the 
determination not to take the captives to Boston, 
but tp ascend the North river, and proceed directly 
to the west. This cheated much disappointment, 
among the citizens of that city, who were generally 
anxious to behold the " great agitator " of the north 
western frontier. 

In pursuance of this new arrangement, on the 
22& of June, the party left New York, in a steam 
boat for Albany, where they arrived on the follow* 
ing day.. At this city, they were met by a crowd 
of spectators, drawn together by their anxiety tQ 
see Black Hawk, so Qumerous, that it was found 
necessary to disguise the Indians, in order to ejiable 
them to reach their lodgings. They remained in 
Albany until the morning of .the 25th, When they 
'departed for Buffalo, which jriace they reached on 

LIFfi Of T5LACK HAWK. 2lfr 

the twenty-eighth. During their stay in Bftfiald 
which lasted ibr three days, they had an interesting ' 
interview with same % 6f the Seneca Indians, who 
are residing on their reservation near that place. 
They were addressed by Earlundaw^ila, a wdrtrrj^ 
Senecar chief, who alter expressing the v pleaslire of 
Iris people ; tb~meef ! the Sacs arid 'Foxes,' and refer- 
ring to the etotoditfonof the Indiana generally, re- 
spectfitHy Counselled Blade Hawk and his party, to 
return hcHtie in a pedceabte mirid; to take up the~ 
tomahawk no more against the itfhite* people; but* 
to cultivate the earth, and be happy. Bl&ck HaW*k 
replied, u Our aged brother of the Seiiecas, who has* 
spoken to tis, has spd&eii the words of a good and a 
wise man. We are strangers to each other, though : 
we have the same color, arid the same Great Spirit" 
made us all, and gavetis this eoufckry together;'' 
Brothers we have seen how great a people the 
Whites are. They are very rich a&d very strong. 
It is folly for us tp fight with thefri. We shall go 
home with' niueh knowledge. For myself I shall 
advise my people to be quiet, and live like good 
men. The advice iVhich yoix gave us^ brother, is- 
vctfy good, and we tell you ttow we mean to "walk 
the straight path in ftaftrxe; and to' content ourselves ^ 
with what we have, and \Hth cultivating our lands." 
From Buffalo the captives were- taken by water 
to Detroit, where their reception is said to have 
been much less enthusiastic than in the other cities 
through which they had passed. It was staled hr 
the> newspapers of the day, that they were burnt in' 
©%y ill thai plac0i Ji »i«k Hawk, i* visiting At 

21f LIFft .Of BJ4CK HAWK. 

the. former residence of Governor Cass, remarked, 
* This is the old council ground. . I have had much 
gpod counsel herej but my trail led to. Jhe opposite 
shore, and my ears : ,were closed/' Their visit lo 
Detroit being over,- they proceeded to Gre-Mfc Bay, 
and thence descended the Wisconsin to the .Missis- 
sippi and down that; river, to Fort .Armstrong, on 
Rock Island, which places : they reached about the , 
fii^t of August. In passing by the site of the old' 
Sa§. village, Black Hawk was deeply affected, wpd 
expressed much regret for the causes whjcfc. co&i- 
p^d'him to emigrate beyond the Mississippi. The 
return of the Prophet was also attended with .mek 
ancholy associations.. His> village oyer wh'<da he 
had long presided, was ei$rely< broken ww-his. 
wigwam in ashes — hjjs. family, dispersed, and,ohe, a 
suppliant foy a home in the village -pf .sQmG; other 
cWff . s ' . ••;.; ., * : ■. .--;■ 

Fort^Armstrpng, was chosen > by Major G/>riaftd 
a$ the n#>st appropriate, spot for ,the ceremonies x>f T ; 
the .liberation of Black Hawl^ and his -party 5 as its . 
central position; would enable^ him to assemble, a>t- 
a^bortnotice^many Indian^ baqi the; surrounding • 
villages, This w*s the &yorit* islai}d ;t of U?# |b* 
di&ns^m fonder, years abuncto& Ufc fruits aj}d\£ow.~* 
ers;. and, from tipie immemorial the. fancied abode 
of ; ji good Spirit* which watched over tb^ir:villagp, | 
and protected .their hunting, grounds. . could . ' 
have been selected, calculated to awaken so ; many, 
painful a^socia.tions in the mind of Black Hawk, as 
Reck Island* , For hajf a century it had beep ,\h+;i 
witness of his jpvrfi aryi jpfit&nce ; ij^as; iKro^Jft; > 



become the scene of his disgrace, and reluctant 
submission to a rival. 

* Immediately; after Major Garland's arrival at 
Port Armstrong, he sent out runners for the purpose 
of assembling the neighboring Indians. The mes- 
senger despatched for Keokuk and his chiefs, found 
them encamped about twenty miles below the island, 
having just returned from a buffalo hunt, and being 
on their way to fort Armstrong, in expectation of 
meeting the returning captives. The runner return* 
ed that night, and reported to Major Garland, that 
on the 'morrow, Keokuk with a party of braves 
would reach Rock Island. About noon, on the fol- 
lowing day, the sound of the Indian drum, and the 
shouts and wild songs of his people, announced the 
approach of the princely Keokuk. ■ He ascended 
the Mississippi by water, and led the van with two 
large carioes, lashed side by side, handsomely deco- 
rated, with a canopy erected over them, beneath 
which sat the chief and his three wives, with the 
American flag waving over them. More than 
twenty canoes followed the chieftain, each containing 
from four to eight of his warriors, whose shouts and 
songs, swept over the transparent waters of the 
Mississippi, and were echoed from shore to f shore. 
This fleet of canoes, was rowed slowly up the 
stream, until it passed the camp of the captives; it 
then returned and the party landed on the bank of 
the river, opposite to the camp of Black Hawk* 
Here Keokuk and his party spent several hours in 
arranging their dress, painting their faces and equip- 
ping themselves with their implements of war. This 
v 10 T 


duty of the toilet being finished, they returned to 
their canoes, resumed their songs, and proceeded 
directly across the river. Keokuk, very elegantly 
dressed, decorated with his medals and fully armed, 
was th£ first to land, and turning to his followers, 
said, "The Great Spirit has sent our brother bacl^. 
Let us shake hands with him in friendship." Hi, 
then proceeded slowly, followed by his warriors, to 
wards Black Hawk, who was seated, with his par 
ty, in front of his temporary lodge, leaning upon hi* 
staff, and deeply affected by the occasion. Keokuk 
kindly extended his hand to him, which the 
old man took with some cordiality. Having 
saluted the r$$t of the captives, he took a seat, his 
companions following his example. For some time 
all was silence — no one presuming to utter a word 
until the chief had spoken. At last, Keokuk in* 
quired of Black Hawk how long he had been upon 
the road ; and, remarked that he had been expect- 
ing his arrival, and was coming up the river to 
meet him, when met by the messenger of Major 
Garland. The pipe was now introduced and passed 
r,ound among both parties, and an interchange of 
friendly civilities ensued. After an hour of alter- 
nate smoking and talking, Keokuk arose and shook 
hands with Black Hawk, saying he should return 
to-morrow ; and. then recrossed the river in silence. 
A considerable part of that night was spent by the 
chief and his party in singing^and. dancing. 

The grand council, for -the final liberation of the 
captives, was held, with all due solemnity, upon the 
eiisuing day. . J{ presented ftie nQvel spectacle of. 


a chief, compelled by a third power, to acknow- 
ledge the authority of a rival, and formally descend 
from the rank which he had long sustained among 
his people. Fort Armstrong presented a commo- 
dious room, for the ceremonies of the day, and it 
was fitted up for the occasion. About ten o'clock in 
the forenoon, Keokuk and one hundred followers, 
recrossed the river, and proceeded in martial array 
to the garrison. They were conducted into the 
.council room, and shown the seats which they 
were to occupy. Keokuk was seated with Pashe T 
pahow (the Slabber) on one side, Wapellar (the lit- 
tle Prince) on the other. The former a chief of the 
Sacs, the latter of the Foxes. The remainder of 
his band took their seats in the rear, and maintain- 
ed throughout the ceremony, profound silence. .-- 
It was not long before Black Hawk and his as^ 
sociates, made their appearance. As they entered 
the room, Keokuk and the two chiefs by his side, 
arose and greeted them. They were seated direct* 
ly opposite to Keokuk. Black Hawk, and his son, 
Nasinewiskuk, wliq seems to have been warmly 
attached. to his father, appeared to be much deject- 
ed. They had the day previous made objections 
to this council, -as unnecessary, and painful to their 
feelings. They now came into it with deep feelings 
of mortification. For a time profound silence reign- 
ed throughout the assembly. Major Garland at 
length arqse and addressed the council. He was 
pleased to find so much good feeling existing among 
the Sacs and Fox^s towards Black Hawk and his 
party ; an4 he felt confident front what hei ha4 cb+ 


served, since their arrival, that they would here- 
after live in peace: He had but little further to add, 
as the President's speech, addressed to Black Hawk 
and his party, in Baltimore, contained the views 
of their great Father on the matters before them; 
and, this speech he should cause to be again inteif 
preted to them. 

Keokuk followed Major Garland, and after hav- 
ing shaken hands with those around him said, 

" I have listened to the talk of our great Father/ 
It is true we pledged our honor with those of our 
young braves, for the liberation of our friends. 
We thought much of it— our councils were long — 
their wives and children were in our thoughts — 
when we talked of them our hearts were full. 
Their wives and children came to see us, which 
made us feel like women; but we were men. The 
words which we sent to our great Father were 
good: he spoke like the father of children. The 
Great Spirit made his heart big in council We 
receive our brothers in friendship — our hearts are 
good towards them. They oncfe listened to bad 
counsel; now their ears are closed: I give my hand 
to them; when they shake it, they shake the handy 
of all. I will shake hands with them, and then I 
am done. ?> 

Major Garland rose a second time, and stated, 
that he wished it to be distinctly understood by all 
persons present, in the council, that their great 
Father, the President, would hereafter receive and' 
acknowledge Keokuk, as the principal chief of the 
Sac and Fox nation; that he wished and expected 


Black Hawk to listen and conform to his counsels; 
if any unkind feeling now existed, it must that day 
be buried, and, that the band of Black Hawk must 
be henceforth merged in that of Keokuk. The in* 
terpreter so reported the remarks of Major Garland, 
that Black Hawk understood the President to say 
that he must conform to the counsels of Keokuk; 
and, the old chief, losing all command of his feel- 
ings, became deeply and instantly excited. The 
spirit which had sustained him in earlier and better 
days, burst forth with uncontrollable violence. He 
sprung upon his feet, but so d^ply excited as to be 
almost unable to utter a word. With the most in- 
dignant expression of countenance, and with a 
vehemence of manner characteristic of the savage 
when roused to action, he exclaimed, 

"lam a man — an old mafc — 1 will not conform 
to the counsels of any one. I will act for mysetfr- 
no one shall govern me. 1 am old — my hair is 
gray — I once gave counsels to my young men- 
Am I to conform to others ? I shall soon go to the 
Great Spirit, when I shall be at rest. What I said 
to our great Father at Washington, I say again — I 
will always listen to him. I am done." 

The speech of Black Hawk — the'last straggle of 
a fallen chieftain, caused a momentary, excitement 
throughout the- council. . When it had subsided, the 
interpreter was directed to explain to him, that the 
President had only requested him to listen to the 
counsels of Keokuk. He made no reply> but draw- 
ing his blanket around him, sat in moody silence. 

^Keokujc app/o^ched ,htaJt, and in a lo$r t«rt kijid 

'' T2 


tone of voice £aid, "Why do you speak so before 
the white men ? I will speak for you; you trem- 
bled — you did not mean what you said.* Black 
Hawk gloomily assented, When Keokuk arose and 
remarked to the council, 

» Our brother who has again come to us, has 
spoken, but he spoke in wrath — his tongue was 
forked— he spoke not like a man, a Sac. He knew 
his words were bad: he trembled like the oak 
whose roots have bfeen wasted away by many rains. 
He is old — what he said let us forget. He says he 
did not mean it — \% wishes it forgotten. I have 
spoken for him. What I have said are his own 
words— not mine. Let us say he spoke in council 
to-day — that his words were good. I have spoken." 
Colonel Davenport of the United States army, 
ttien in command of Fort Armstrong, next arose, 
and taking Black Hawk by the hand, remarked 
that he Was glad to meet him, that once he was 
his enemy, but now he met him as a friend; that 
he was there by the command of the President, 
and should always be glad to see him; kndj 
would at all tim^s be ready to give him any advice 
which he mighj heed: that during his absence he 
had held frequent talks yr\th the Sacs and Foxes, 
who Were anxious for his return, and he felt au- 
thorized to say, that the nation entertained for him 
and his party, the most frietfdly feeling. Black 
Hawk listened with much apparent interest to the 

remarks of Colonel Davepport.* 

•■ ■ » ■ ' » ■ ■ ■ " ■■■■■■■ ' " I ■ i' t »■ ■ ■ ■ » * .. 

* Black Hawk scemi to have entertained a warm friendship for Co- 
fcmel D*r*nport. On anofcer oceaafon, .peaking of ttticooncfl, taj 


Major Garland now arose and told Black Hawk 
he was at liberty to go where he pleased; — that the 
people of the United States, as well as himself, 
were pleased with the uniform good conduct of all 
the captives while among them — that they were 
convinced their hearts were good, but they had list- 
ened to bad counsels: Having now seen the power 
of the white men, and taken their great father by 
the hand, who had restored them to their families, 
he hoped there would be no further difficulties; but 
that peace and harmony would long exist between 

Black Hawk, rose in reply, cool and collected, 
and remarked, that having reflected upon what he 
had said, it was his wish that if his speech had been 
put upon paper, a line might be drawn over it— he 
did not mean it. 

Wapellar, the chief of the Foxes, rose up to say 
that he had nothing to say. "I am not in the habit 
of talking— I think— I have been thinking all day 
— Keokuk has spoken: am glad to see my bro- 
thers: I will shake hands with them. - I am done." 
The chiefs all arose, a general shaking of hands, 

said, " I here met my old friend, a great war chief, [Colonel William 
Davenport] whom I had known for eighteen years. He is a good and 
a brave chief. He always treated me well, and gave me good advice. 
He made a speech to me on this occasion, very different from that of 
the other chief. It sounded like coming from a brave? He adds, " If 
our great father were to make such men our agents, he would much 
better subserve the interests of our people, as well as his own, than in 
any other way; and had the war chief aHuded to, beeriour agent, we 
never should nave had the difficulties with the whites which we have 

Those who have the pleasure-of a personal acquaintance with Colo- 
nel Davenport will join in Black Hawk's spontaneous tribute to his 
Character a* * brave, and a gentleman of humane and noble feelings." 


followed by an- interchange of civilities, ensued, and 
the council finally adjourned. . . 

-In the evening, Maj. Garland invited the princi- 
pal chiefs, together with Black Hawk, to his quar- 
ters, as it would afford a good opportunity to as- 
certain explicitly, the feeling which existed among 
them towards their fallen foe. About seven o'clock 
they arrived. They took their seats in silence, 
passed the pipe for all to take a whiff, and in return, 
quaffed a glass of champagne, which seemed to 
have a peculiar relish. Pashepahow, shook hands 
with all present, and commenced: — 

"We met this morning: I am glad to meet again. 
That wine is very good; I never drank any before; 
I have thought much of our meeting to-day: it was 
one that told us we were brothers: — that we were 
Sacs. We had just returned from a buffalo hunt; 
we thought it was time for our brothers to be here, 
as our father at St. Louis told us this was the moon. 
We started before the rising sun to meet you; we 
have met, and taken our brothers by the hand in 
friendship. They always mistrusted our counsels-, 
and went from the trail of the red men, where 
there was no hunting grounds nor friends; they 
returned and found the dogs howling around their 
Wigwams, aud wives looking for their husbands 
and children. They said we counselled like wo- 
men, but they have found our counsels were good. 
They have been through the country of our great 
Father. They have been to the wigwams of the 
white men, they received them in kindness, and 
made glad their hearts. We thank them,; say to 


them that Keokuk and Pashepahow thank them. 
Our brother has promised to listen to the counsels 
of Keokuk. What he said in counctt to^lay, was 
like the Mississippi fog — the sun has shone and th$ 
day is ctear — let us forget it — he did not mean it. 
,His heart is good, but his ears have been open to 
bad counsels. . He has taken our great Father by 
the hand, whose -words ai-e good. He listened to 
them and has closed his eara to the voice that comes 
across the great waters. He now knows that he 
ought to listen to Keokuk. He counselled with us 
and our young braves, who listened to his talk. We 
told our great Father that all would be peace. 
He opened his dark prison and let him see the sun 
once more, gave him to his wife and children, who 
were without a lddge. Our great Father made 
straight his path to his home. I once took the 
great chief of the Osages prisoner. I heard the cries 
of his women and children; 1 took him out by the 
rising sun, and put him upon the trail to his village j 
" there" said I, " is the trail to your village? go and 
tell your people, that I, Pashepahow, the chief of 
the Sacs, sent you." We thank our great Father 
*->-our hearts are good towards him; I will see him 
before I lay down in peace: may the Great. Spirit 
be in his councils. What our brother said to-*day let 
us forget; I am done." ■ - . 

. Keokuk, after going through the usual ceremo- 
nies, said, " We feel proud that you have invited 
us here this eveniilg, to drink a glass with you; ths 
wine which we have drank, we never tasted before; 

it is tho wine which the white men n^afce^.whfi 

10* ' 

$$& LI7S OF B&AtiK hawk. 

know how to make anything: I will take another 
glass, as I have mueh to say; we feel proud that 
we can drink such wine; to-day we shook hands 
with our brothers, who you brought to us* we were 
glad to see" them; we have often thought of our 
brothers; many of our nation said they would 
never return: their wives and children often came 
to our wigwams, which macte us feel sad: what 
Pashepahow has said is true; I talked to our young 
men, who had the hearts of men; I told them that 
the Great Spirit was in our councils, they promised 
to live in peace : those who listened to bad counsels, 
and followed our brothers, have said their ears are 
closed, they will live in peace; I sent their words 
to our great Father, whose ears were open, whose 
heart was made sad by the conduct of our brothers; 
he has sent them to their wigwams. We thank 
him: say to him Keokuk thanks him. Our brothers 
have seen the great villages of the white men: they 
travelled a long road and found the Americans like 
grass; I will tell our young men to listen to what 
they sK&ll tell them. Many years ago I went 
through the villages of our great Father — he had 
many— they were like the great prairies; but he 
has gone; another is our father - T he is a great war 
chief; I want to see him; I shall be proud to take 
him by* the hand; I have heard much of him, his 
head is gray, I must see him: tell him that as soon 
as the snow i» off the prairie, I shall come* What I 
have said I wish spoken to him, "before it is put upon 
paper, so that he shall hear it, as I have said it: tell 
him that Keokuk spoke it: What our brother said 


in council to-day, let us forget; he told me to speak; 
I spoke his words; I have spoken." 

Black Hawk then said, in a calm and dejected 

« I feel that I am an old man; once I could 
speak, but now I have but little to say; to-day we 
met many of our brothers; we were glad to see 
them. I have listened to what my brothers have 
said, their hearts are good; they have been like 
Sacs, since I left them; they have taken care of my 
wife and children, who had no wigwam; I thank 
them for it, the Great Spirit knows that I thank 
them; before the sun gets behind the hills to-mor- 
row, I shall see them; I want to see them; when 
I left them, I expected soon to return; I told our 
great father when in Washington, that I would, 
listen to the counsels of Keokuk. I shall soon 
be far away, I shall have no village, no band; 
I shall live alone. What I said in council to day, I 
wish forgotten. If it has been put upon paper, I 
wish a mark to be drawn over it. I did not mean 
it. Now we are alone let us say, we will forget it. 
Say to our great father and Governor Cass, that I 
will listen to them. Many years ago I met Gover- 
nor Cass in councils, far across the prairies to the 
rising sun. His counsels were good. My ears 
were closed; I listened to the great father acYoss the 
waters. My father listened to him whose , band 
was large. — My band was once , large. Now 
I have no band. I and my son and all the party, 
thank our great father for what he has done. He 
is old, 1 am old; we shall soon go to the great Spir- 


it, where we shall rest. He sent tts through his . 
great villages. We saw many of the white men, 
who treated us with kindness. We thank them. 
We thank you and Mr, Sprague for coming with 
us. Your road was long and crooked. We never 
saw so many white men before. When you were 
with us, we felt as though we had Some friends 
among them. We felt safe. You knew them all. 
When you come upon the Mississippi again, you 
shall come to my wigwam. I have none now. On 
your road home, you will pass where my village 
once was. No one lives there now; all are gone. 
I give you my hand; we may never meet again; 1 
shall long remember you: The Great Spirit will be 
with you, and your wives and children. Before 
the sun rises, I shall go to my family. My son will 
be here to see you before we go. I will shake 
hands with my brothers here, then I am done." 

Early on the following morning, the Indians 
crossed to the west side of the Mississippi, and re- • 
turned to their villages. 

In the autunm of 1837, deputations from several 
Indian tribe's, residing upon the waters of the upper 
Mississippi, were invited to Washington city, by di- 
rection of the President of the United States. Among 
those represented were the united Sac and Fox tribe, 
and their ancient enemy the Sioux, between whom 
hostilities were then raging. For the purpose of 
effecting a peace between them, and also making a v 
purchase of land of the Sioux^veral councils were 
held under the direction of the Secretary at War, 
but without accomplishing the object in either case* 

LfFX 67 VhACK HAWK. ^ 3St 

Black Hawk, was connected with the delegation 
from the Sacs and Foxes, but not in the character 
of a delegate or chief. Keokuk, apprehensive, that 
if left at home, the old man might create some new 
difficulty, had prudently taken him along. He 
treated him, uniformly, with great respect, and in- 
. vited him to sit with them in the councils. 

After leaving Washington the delegation visited 
the principal eastern cities, and Black Hawk again 
attracted much attention. Public curiosity was 
still alive to see the renowned but fallen chieftain 
of the famous Black Hawk war. In Boston, which 
place he did not visit on his former tour, he was 
waited upon by a great concourse of citizens, and 
in common with the rest of the delegation, was pub- 
licly presented with some military weapons by the 
governor of the state, and made a brief speech upon 
the occasion. 

Before the return of -the deputation to the west, 
they remained a few hours in Cincinnati. Keokuk 
was sick and received but few visiters. « Which 
is Black Hawk," was the eager inquiry of almost 
every individual who succeeded in threading his 
way through the crowd, to the cabin of the steam 
boat. The old man manifested ho interest in the 
pacing scene. He was not inclined to conversation, 
but sat moody and silent, with an expression of 
countenance strongly indicative of wounded pride 
and disappointed ambition. He seemed to feel 
deeply the degradation of his situation. Shorn of 
power among his people, compelled to acknowledge 
the authority of his rival, and bending beneath the 

U9 unr of black hawk* 

infirmities of- age, it is not singular that he should 
shrink from the prying gazp of curiosity, and sigh, 
for the deep seclusion of his wild hunting grounds. 
In height Black Hawk is about five feet ten indi- 
es, with broad shoulders, but limbs not very muscu- 
lar. His nose is sharp and slightly aquiline, and 
his eyes are of a dark hazel color. The most strik- 

) ing peculiarity in his- personal appearance ip the 
head, which is singularly formed, and has been 
pronounced, by some observers, the envy of phre-. 
nologists. IJis countenance is mild and benevo- 
lent, having little if any of that dark and ferocious 
expression, not uncommon among the Indians; and 
which, during the late border war, was imagined to 
be eminently characteristic of Black Hawk. In trac- 
ing his history, few, if any incidents can be found, 

, which bear out the charge of savage cruelty that 
has sometimes been preferred against him. On 
the contrary, he seems to h$ve an amiable disposi- 
tion. He himself repels, with indignation, the 
charge of his ever having murdered women and 
children; and, declares the accusation made against 
him, on this point, to be wholly fiilse. The charac- 
ter of Black Hawk for honesty in his dealings, and 
fear general integrity, stands fair. In his domestic 
relations he appears to be kind and affectionate, 
and in one particular, is an exception to the chiefs 
and warriors of his tribe. He has never had but 
one wife* After his return from the campaign on 
the lakes, during the war with England, his first 
act was to visit his family. " I then started," says 
he, " to visit my wife and children. I found them 

imc or BLACK HAW*. tSt 

well and my boys were growing finely, it Is not 
customary for us to say much about our women, as 
they generally perform*their part cheerfully, and 
never interfere with business belonging to the m^n. 
This is the only wife I ever had, or will ever have 
She is a good woman and teaches my boys to be 
brave." It is said, however, and upon pretty good 
authority, that on a certain occasion, Black Hawk's 
vow of exclusive devotion to one wife, had weU 
nigh been broken. While visiting a respectable 
frontier settler, many years since, he became pleas- 
ed with the comely daughter of his host; and hav- 
• ing seriously contemplated the matter, decided in 
favor of the expediency of adding the pale faced 
beauty, to the domestic circle of his wigwam. He 
accordingly expressed his wishes to the father of 
the young lady, and proposed to give him a horse, 
m exchange for his daughter, but to his surprise the 
offer was declined. Some days afterwards he return- 
ed and tendered two fine horses, but still the father 
refused to make the arrangement. The old chiefs 
love for the young lady, growing stronger, in pro- 
portion to the difficulty of gaining her father's assent, 
he, subsequently, offered five or six horses for her. 
But even this munificent price was rejected by the 
mercenary father. Black Hawk now gave up the 
negotiation, not a little surprised, at the high value 
which the white men place upon their daughters. 

It is questionable whether Black Hawk possesses 
an)^ marked military talents, although during* his 
contest with the United States, it was common to 
represent him as an able warrior, who by the do- 

389 * U*k OF BLUPK,HAWJt. 

quenee $nd fluency of his harangues, commanded 
the unlimited confidence of his band. He has, most 
probably* been overrated bBth for his eloquence and 
his skill in the battle field. He is no doubt a man of N 
courage, and seems, from early life, to have had a 
strong predisposition for war. JMany of his mea- 
sures as a leader, have been more influenced by a 
sense of what was right in the abstract, than ex- 
pedient in practice. This circumstance has often 
pjaced^him in situations, inimical to the permanent 
prosperity of his people. v 

Black Hawk never made any claims to the office 
of a peace chie£ Even as a war chief, he was not 
recognized by all the tribe to which he belonged. 
A fragment of the Sacs and Foxes, however, fol- 
lowed his banner for more thai* twenty years, and 
acknowledged him in that capacity: and, over 
them, he certainly exercised, from their confidence 
in his judgment, his warlike talent, or some other 
cause, no small amount of influence. His age and 
kindness of disposition, probably, strengthened their 
attachment to him. In the campaign of 1832, al- 
though terminating in the defeat of Black Hawk, 
and the almost entire annihilation of his band, his 
jseilitary reputation did -not suffer much, if the cir- 
<ttimstances under which he was placed, be recol- 
lected* During the operations of that period, Gen- 
eral Atkinson estimated the warriors of Black 
JEJawk at seven or eight hundred, but the better 
opinion is that it did* not, at. any time, exceed five 
hundred; and several persons, who had favofable 
opportunities {or judging, place the estimate still 


lower. The commander of the United States troops, 
had with him, in the pursuit of Black Hawk, 
twenty seven hundred men, all of them well armed 
and most of them well mounted. This was inde- 
pendent of the militia in the different military posts 
and fortified stations. The entire number of the 
American forces, engaged in the campaign, is sup- 
posed to have approached to three thousand, five 
hundred. Black Hawk, was encumbered with the 
wives and children, the household property and 
travelling equipage of his whole band; and from 
the time of his re-crossing the Mississippi to the 
battle of the Bad-axe, was constantly in want of 
provisions. Indeed, in the month of July, many of 
his party actually starved to death. Under such 
circumstances, the wonder is not, that he was final? 
ly defeated and captured, but that it should have 
required a campaign of three months in which to 
accomplish that object. The defeat of Stillman and 
the attack upon the fort at Buffalo Grovs, jnay be 
claimed by Black Hawk and his band, to have been 
as honorable to their arms, as were the victories of 
the Wisconsin and the Bad-axe to those of the United 

But whatever may be the ultimate opinion in re r 
gard to him, either as a warrior or a man,, his 
career for good and for evil, is now ended. The 
war-banner has passed from his hand—his seat in 
the council-house is vacant— the fire of his lodge k 
nearly extinguished: the autumn r of life is upon 
him — and, in a little while the autumn leaves will 
rustle over the lone grave of Blask Hawk. 
v 2 


Black HMrk at the capture of Fort Erie— At the battle of the Theme* 
— Hit account of the death of Tecnmthe— Hii residence and mode 
of life after his last yisit to the east— His Fourth of July speech 
at Fort Madison— His death and burial. 

Since the three first editions of this work were 
published, the death of Black Hawk has occurred; 
and a few additional particulars 6f his life have 
been collected. These, it is proposed to embody in 
a new chapter. 

In the -course of the preceding pages, the diffi- 
culty of procuring full, and always exact informa- 
tion, in- regard tor the lives of a people having 
neither records nor historians, has been alluded to. 
This difficulty will be encountered by any one who 
may attempt to chronicle the annals of the aborigi- 
nes in their aggregate condition, or to pourtray 
their individual history. In the compilation of 
this volume, much pains were taken to obtain aH 
the prominent events in the life of Black Hawk, 
and, it is supposed, as much success attended the 
effort, as is usual in similar cases. Since its publi- 
cation, however, it appears that all his military 
movements have not been narrated, and we pro-; 
ceed to supply the omission. 

At page 83 of this volume, it is stated that 
Black Hawk was only in two engagements in the 
late war with Great Britain, and that the last of 
these was the assault upon Fort Stephenson, in 
August 1813, then under the command of Major 


in* or biack hawk. 235 

Croghan. It is true that he and his band were 
with the British army in the attack upon this post, 
but his connection with that army did not cease until 
after the capture of Fort Erie. The authority for 
this fact is to be found in the' "Book of the In- 
dians," page 145. The author of that work, in 
narrating the incidents of Black Hawk's return to 
the north-west, Ui 1833, after his imprisonment at 
Fortress Monroe, says: "Having arrived at Buffalo, 
on Friday the 28th of June, they^(the party return- 
ing with the old warrior) remained there until Sun- 
day morning. The day after their arrival, they 
rode over to Black Rock, where they viewed the 
union of the grand canal with the lake at that 
place. From this point they had a full view of the 
Canada shore, and Black Hawk immediately poin- 
ted out Fort Erie, and seemed well acquainted 
with the adjacent country ; he having been there 
in the time of the last war" with England, in the 
British service ; and at the time * when the Ameri- 
cans walked into Fort Erie,' as he expressed the 
capture of it." Of the extent of his participation in 
the events attendant upon this capture, there is no 
satisfactory information. 

Black Hawk was likewise in the battle of the 
Thames, a fact not previously stated in this work, 
and which is now given on the authority of a wri- 
ter in the Baltimore American, to whose respecta- 
bility the editor of that paper bears testimony 
We have, indeed r no reason to doubt the accuracy 
of thisrstatement, which will be read with the mora 
interest, from the circumstance that it jembraces 

.£36 U?$ OF BUCK HAWfC, 

Black Hawk's account of the, death of Tecumthe 
in regard to which much has t>eeh written and pub- 
lished. It is not proposed, on the present occasion, 
to compare the relation given by Black Hawk, of 
the fell of Tecumthe, with the 'testimony of others 
who have appeared as historians of this event, b^t 
shall content ourselves with simply quoting the ai 
tide }o which reference has been made. The wri 
ter. professes to have been intimately acquainted 
with Black Hawk, and in the brief sketch which 
he has presented of the life of this warrior, we find 
corroborating evidence of the truth of many of the 
traits of character, which, in the course of this vol- 
ume, has been assigned to him both as a man and 
a warrior. The k article is in these words: 
, " Messrs. E;ditor$ — Hearing of the death of the 
celebrated Sauk chieftain, Black Hawk, I am in- 
duced to make you the following communication, 
which may be interesting to some of your readers. 
" During a residence of several years in what is 
now the. Territory of Iowa, I had many opportuni- 
ties of seeing and conversing with this noted war^- 
rior, and often lpok. back with feelings of great 
pleasure to the many tokens of goQd will and 
friendship that he has. frequently bestowed upon 
me. His lodge was always open to a stranger, and 
he was ever, ready to share that .with him which he 
might most-want, either his furs and Wankets for a 
couch, or his corn and venison fox a repast. He 
nlw^ys ?poke in terms of high regard of the whites, 
saying, tjiat in war he fought like a brave man, but 
ya pe^pe he wisfyedjo forget that his hand had ever 

been raised against them. His career as a warrior 
commenced at a very early age ; when he was but 
fourteen years old, his father, Pawheese, led a war 
party against the Osages, in which expedition he 
accompanied him. They succeeded in reaching the 
village of Osages, which they attacked, and after a 
very severe encounter, they routed their enemies 
and burnt their town. In this battle Black Hawk's 
father was killed, but he revenged his death by kil- 
ling and scalping the Osage who had slain him. He 
was fond of recounting his earlier exploits, and 
often boasted of his being at the right hand of 
Tecumthe, when the latter was killed at the battle 
of the Thames. His account of the death of this 
distinguished warrior, Was related to me by hinw 
self, during an evening that I spent in his lodge 
some winters ago. In the course of our talk, I 
asked him if he was with Tecumthe when he was 
killed. He replied — 

" < I was, and I will now tell you all about it.— 
Tecumthe, Shaubinne, and Caldwell, two Potawat- 
timie chiefs, and myself, were seated on a log near 
our camp fire, filling our pipes for a smoke, on the 
morning of the battle, when word came from the 
British general, that he wished to speak with Te- 
cumthe. He Went immediately, and after staying 
some time rejoined us, taking his seat without say- 
ing a word, when Caldwell, who was one of his 
favorites, observed to him, - ( my father, what are we 
to do? Shall we fight the Americans V < Yes, my 
son/ replied Tecumthe, * We shaU go into their- 
very smoke— but you are now wanted by the 


General . Go, xny son, I never expect to see you 
again.' Shortly after this, (continued Black Hawk,) 
the Indian spies came in, and gave word of the 
near approach of the Americans. Tecumthe im- 
mediately posted his men in the edge of a swamp* 
which flanked the British line, placing himself at 
their head. I was a little to his right, with a smaU . 
party of "Sauks. It was not long before the Amer- 
cans made their appearance ; they did not per-, 
ceive us at first, hid as we were by the underv 
growth, but we sooa let them know where we were 
by pouring in one or two volleys as they were 
forming into a line to oppose the British. They 
faultered a little, but very soon we perceived a 
large body of horse (Colonel Johnson V regiment of 
mounted Kentuekians) preparing to charge upon_ 
us in the swamp. They came bravely on, yet we 
never stirred until they were so close that we could 
see the flints in their guns, when Tecumthe spring- 
ing to his feet, gave the Shawnee way cry, and dis- 
charged his rifle. This was the signal for us to 
commence the fight ; but it did not last long ; the 
Americans answered, the shout, returning our fire, 
and at the first discharge of their guns, I saw Te- 
cumthe stagger forwards over a fallen tree near 
which he was standing, letting his rifle drop at hia 
feet. As soon as the Indians discovered he was 
lulled, a sudden fear came over them, and thinking 
that the Great Spirit was displeased, they fought 
no longer, and were quickly put to flight. That 
night we returned to bury our dead, and search 
for the body of Tecumthe. He was Sound lying 

UI£ ^0* BLACK HAWK. 980 

where he had first fallen ; a bullet had struck him 
above the hip, and his skull had been broken by 
the butt end of the gun of some soldier, who had 
found him, perhaps, when life was not yet quite 
gone. With the exception of these wounds, his 
body was untouched; lying near him, however, 
was a large, fine looking Potawattimie, who had 
been killed, decked off in his plumes and war 
paint, whom the Americans no doubt had taken for 
Tecumthe j for he was scalped, and every particle 
of skin flayed from his body. Tecumthe himself, 
had no ornaments about his person save a British 
medaL During the night we buried our dead, and 
brought off the body of Tecumthe, although wo 
were within sight of the fires of the American 

" This is somewhat different from the account 
which is commonly given of Tecumthe's delath, yet 
I believe it to be true ; for after hearing Black 
Hawk relate it, I heard it corroborated by one of 
the Potawattimie chiefs, mentioned by him. I 
asked him if hejiad ever fought against the whites 
after the death of Tecumthe, He said not — that 
he returned home to his village on the TMississippi, 
at the mouth of Rock River, and there he remained 
until driven away by the whites, in the year 1832. 
The wish to hold possession of this village, was the 
cause of the war which he waged against the 
whites during that year. He told me that he never 
wished to fight ; that he was made to do so ; that 
the whites killed his warriors when they went 
with a white flag to beg a parley, and that after 

MO arte of outer riAir*. 

this was done, he thought they intended to kill him 
at all events) and therefore he would die like a 

« In speaking of his defeat, he said it was what 
he expected ; that he did not mind it ; but what 
hurt him more than any thing else, was our govern- 
ment degrading him in the eyes of his own people, 
and setting another chief (Keokuk) over him. This 
degradation he appeared to feel very sensibly, still 
he continued to possess all his native pride. One in- 
stance that came under my observation, I recollect 
well, m which it was strongly displayed. He happen- 
ed to be in a small town in Iowa, on the same day 

in which a party of dragoons, under Captain 

arrived : and in paying a visit to a friend with 
whom he always partook of a meal, whenever he 
stopped at ihe village, he met with the Captain, who 
had been invited to dine. Black Hawk remained, 
also expecting the usual invitation to stay and eat 
with them : but when the dinner was ready, the 
host took him aside, and told him the Captain, or 
tather the white man's chief, was to dine with him 
that day, and he must wait until they had finished. 
The old chiefs eye glistened with anger as he an- 
swered him, raising the fore-finger of one hand to 
his breast, to represent the officer, i I know the 
white man is a chief, but 1/ elevating the finger of 
the other hand far above his head, 'was a chief, 
and led my warriors to the fight, :long before his 
mother knew him. Your meat, — my dogs shouid 
not eat it! 9 Saying this, he gathered the folds of 
his blanket about him, and stalked off, looking as 

tlfr 6F BLACK RAW*. 941 

proudly a* if he still walked, oner ground that he 
could call < my otimS 

« Black Hawk possessed, to a great degree, one 
fine trait larhich it is not usual for us to concede to 
the Indian — kindness and affection for his wife. 
He never had but one, and with her he lived for 
upwards of forty years ; they had several children, 
three of whom still survive, two sons and a daugh- 
ter. The eldest son is now one of the most pro- 
mising young br&ves of the nation, and bids fair to 
be one of its most noble men. The daughter is Still 
quite youirg, and is considered to be the most beau- 
tiful maiden belonging to her tribe. 

«He has now departed on his long journey, to 
join those of his people who have gone before him 
to their happy hunting grounds, far beyond the set- 
ting sun. May the Great Spirit grant him a clear 
sunshine, and a smooth path." 

For the particulars, given l^elow, of the last days 
and death of Black Hawk, we are indebted to a 
highly respectable gentleman, W. Henry Starr, Esq. 
of Burlington,*lowa Territory. His communica- 
tion, under date of March 21st, 1839, is given en- 
tire, that the. interest of the narrative may be pre- 

tt Your letter of the 2nd of Jdnuary came to 
hand in due course of mail, in which you make 
some enquiries concerning the old chief of the Sac 
and Fox tribes — the venerable Black Hawk. I 
should have replied to it sooner, could I have done 
so satisfactorily either to you or myself. I knew 
much by report of the old chief; and something 
11 V 

90| *4*F *F BlAfX HAWK. 

from personal acquaintance ; but my knowledge 
was not so accurate as to be serviceable to a faith- 
ful biographer. I have, therefore, taken some- 
time to make the necessary enquiries, and satisfy 
myself of then: accuracy. 

" After Black Hawk's last return from the eastern 
states, he passed the winter of 1837 8 in the coun- 
ty of Lee, in the south-eastern portion of this terri- 
tory, on a small stream called Deyil-creek. The 
white settlements- extended for-forty miles west.of 
him, and the tribe to which he belonged, with the 
exception of a few old braves, and his family, resi- 
ded on the frontier. From his tribe he was isola- 
ted in position and feeling. His family consisted 
of a wife, two sons, Nasheaskuk and Samesett, (as 
they are pronounced here,) a daughter arid her hus- 
band. They passed their time principally in hunt- 
ing deer, wild turkies, and the prairie hen, which 
are abundant in that quarter of the territory. For 
hunting, Black Hawk is said to have displayed no 
fondness ; but chose to spend his time in improving 
his place of residence, and exercising his ingenuity 
with mechanic tools. In the spring of 1838, they 
removed to the frontier, and settled upon the Des 
Moines river, about eighty or ninety miles from its 
mouth, near to a trading post, and in the immediate 
vicinity of. the villages of the other chiefs, of the 
tribe. Here he had a very comfortable bark cabin, 
which he furnished in imitation of the whites, with 
chairs, a table, a mirror, and mattrasses. His dress 
was that of the other chiefs, with the exception of 
a bjpaoUbrimmed black hat, which he usually wore.. 

ims of mxjjpit *u?m& Ml 

In the summer he cultivated aiew acnes of land in 
corn, melons, and various kinds of vegetables. He 
was frequently visited by ^the whites, and I have 
often heard his hospitality highly commended. - % 

"On the 4th of July last, he was present at 
Fort Madison^ in Lee county* by special invitation, 
and wasr the most conspicuous guest of the citizens 
assembled in commemoration of that day. -Among 
the toasts called forth by the occasion was the fol- 
lowing: ---.--, 

" l Our illustrious guest, Black Hawk, — May 
his declining years be as calm and serene as his 
previous fife has been boisterous and full of warlike 
incidents. His attachment and: present friendship 
to his white brethren, fully entitle him to a seat at 
our festive board. ' 

" So soon as this sentiment was drank, Black 
Hawk ariose and delivered the following speech, 
which was taken down at the time by two interpre- 
ters, and by them furnished for publication. 

« < It has pleased the Great Spirit that I am here 
to-day r— I have eaten with my white friends. The 
earth is our mother — we are now on it— with the 
Great Spirit above usr— It is good. I hope we dre 
all friends here. A few i winters ago I was fighting 
against you~I did wrong, perhaps; but that is 
past~-4t is buried-^-let it be forgotten. 

" < Rock river was a beautiful country— I liked 
ray towns, my cornfields, and the home of my peo- 
ple. I fought for it. It is now yours—- keep it as 
we did — it will produce you good crops. 

" < I thank the Great Spirit that I ym now tri*^d- 

944 «»» OF BLACK HAWfe 

ly with my white brethren-^-we are here together-^**- 
we have eaten together— »we are friends — it is hhi 
wish and mine.- I thank you for your friendship. 

" < I was once a great warrior — I am now poor. 
Keokuk has been the cause of my present situa- 
tion— bi^t do not attach blame to him. I atn now 
old. I have looked upon the Mississippi since I 
have been a child. I love the Great River. I have 
dwelt upon its banks from the time I was an infant; 
I look upon it now. I shake hands with you, and 
as it is. my wish, I hope you are my friends. ' 

" In the course of the day he was prevailed upon 
to drink several times, and became somewhat in- 
toxicated,- an uncommon circumstance, as he was 
generally temperate. 

" In the autumn of 1838. he was at the house of 
an Indian: trader, in the vicinity of Burlington, 
when I became acquainted and frequently conver- 
sed with him, in broken English, and through the 
medium of gestures and pantomime. A deep sea- 
ted melancholy was apparent in his countenance 
and conversation. He endeavored to make me 
comprehend, on one occasion, his former great- 
ness ; and represented that he was once master of 
the country, efest, north, and south of us — that he 
had been a very successful warrior, — called him- 
self, smiting his breast, <big Captain Black Hawk/ 
<nesso Kaskaskias,' (killed the Kaskaskias,) 'nesso 
Sioux aheap/ (killed a great number of Sioux.) He 
then adverted to the ingratitude of his tribe, in per- 
mitting Keokuk to supersede him, who, he averred^ 
excelled him in nothing but drinking whiskey. 

fifrtt of tot*€# «*wfe **S 

"Toward Keokuk he feii*e most unrelenting hiu. 
tired. Keokuk was, however, beyond his influence^ 
being recognized as chief of the tribe, by the go- 
vernment of the United States. He unquestionably 
possesses talents of the first order, excels as an ora^ 
tor, but his authority will probably be short-lived 
on account t>f his dissipation, and his profligacy in 
spending the money paid him for the benefit of 
his tribe ; and which he squanders upon himself 
and a few favorites, through whose influence he 
seeks to maintain his authority. 

" You enquire if Black Hawk was at the battle of 
the Thames ? On one occasion I mentioned Te* 
cutnthe tohkn,4ind he expressed the greatest joy 
that I had heard of him : and pointing away to the 
east, and making a feint, as if aiming a gun, said, 
'Chemokaman fwhite man) nesso/ (kill.) Prom 
which I had no doubt of his bemg personally ac- 
quainted with Tecumthe'; and I have been since 
informed, on good v authority^ that he was in the 
battle of the Thames and in several other engage^ 
menta with that distinguished chief. 

" Soon after tffis interview with Black Hawk, he 
set out for the frontier, where a payment was soon 
to bo made to the tribe, of a portion of their 
annuity. " '- 

"The weather was both hot and wet, and it is 
supposed, that, on Hiifr journey, J*e imbibed the 
seeds of the disease which soon after terminated his 
existence*. This journey was: in September. Early 
iff October, the commissioner for adjusting claims 
v6th the^Sac «M Foitnbes^.waa tam»t Aemal 

M9 1*» OK BMOK flAWK, 

Rock Island, and most of the Indians were there on 
the first of that month Black Hawk was taken 
sick and was unable to accompany them. A yk* 
lent bilious fever had seized, upon him, and oa the 
3d of October, after an illness of seven days, he 
died. His only medical attendant was one of the 
tribe, who knew something of vegetable antidote^ 
and was called doctor. His wife, who was devfe- 
tedtyr attached to him, mourned deeply during his 
Alness. She seemed to have had a presentiment of 
his approaching death, and said, some days before it 
occurred, < he is getting old — he must die— Mono- 
tah calls him home/ 

« After his death, he was dressed in the uniform 
presented to him at Washington, by the President 
or Secretary , at War, and placed upon & rude bier, 
consisting of two poles with bark laid across, on 
which he was earried by four of his braves to the 
place of intermetiV followed by his family and 
about fifty of the tribe, (the chiefs being all absent.) 
They seemed deeply affected, and mourned in their 
usual way, shaking. hands, and muttering, in guttu- 
ral tones, prayers to Monotah (th&ir deity) lor his 
safe passage to the land prepared for the reception 
of all Indiana. The grave was six feet deep and 
of the usual length, situated upon a little eminence 
about fifty yards from. his wigwam.,- The body 
was placed in the middle of the grave* in a sitting 
posture, upon a seat, constructed for the purpose. 
On his left side the cane given, him, as X am inform- 
ed* by Mr. Henry Clay, was placed Upright, with 
his right hand resting upon it t Maayuof the jM 

UK OF tfL&OK ilAWH. 24?; 

warrior's trophies were placed in the grave, and 
some Indian garments, together with his favorite 
weapons. The grave was then covered with'plahk, 
and a mound of earth, several feet in height, was 
thrown tip over it, and the whole enclosed with 
pickets twelve feet in height. At the head of the 
grave a flag staff was placed, bearing our national 
banner ; and at the foot there stands a post, on 
which is inscribed, in Indian characters, his age. 
" I do not know the exact age of Black Hawk, 
. but understood from him, that he wasseyenty-two. 
His virtues commanded the respect of all the 
whites who knew him. He possessed much mag- 
nanimity of soul, and under ail the -mortifications 
to which he has been subjected, and the insults 
that have been heaped upon him by his tribe, and 
especially by the haughty Keokuk, he maintained^ 
until the last years of his life, a uniform cheerful- 
ness and resignation of mind, which bespoke a con- 
scious superiority." 

With this sketch of the last days of Black 
Hawk, our narrative of his life is closed. After an 
eventful arid restless career of " three score and ten 
years," this celebrated Sac has been "gathered to 
his fathers." His name cannot be forgotten, for 
his deeds are a part of the history of this country. 
If hot distinguished for a high order of talent, or 
renowned for great warlike achievements, he has 
liot often been surpassed in the history of his race, 
for those less dazzling virtues, humanity, courage, 
and love of country. <(He was an Indian who. 


had a sense of honor, $3 well as policy ; & roaa 
in whom those who knew him ; confided^*, la the- 
last speech which he made in the last year of hia 
life, in. alluding to his difficulties with the whites, 
ne says, " Rock river Was k beautiful country--*! 
uked my towns, my cornfields, and the home of 
my people ; — I fought for it,"— a declaration as 
creditable to the heart of the speaker, as it is imporr 
tant to a just estimate of his conduct, in jre$ktk*g 
the removal of his tribe from their native laud. 
The love of country is not confinedto civilizediife, 
out swells the heart and nerves the arm, of tbe un<r 
tutored man of the woods. « I ljked mf towns, 
my cor&fi;bl1)s, and the home op my people ; — I 
fought for it," should be inscribed over the hurxt- 
ble grave of Black Hawk. ^ . 

Note.— -Since writing that portion of the forego- 
ing narrative which treats of the causes of the late 
war with the Sacs and Foxes, the following article, 
fronrthe able pen of judge Hall, has met our pbser- 
vation. It was published in the Western Monthly 
Magazine in 1833, one year after, the termination 
of that conflict. The writer was then a resident of. 
Illinois, and intimately acquainted with the rela- 
tions existing between the whites and lndfans. His 
remarks are valuable. They embrace a graphic de- 
scription of the region inhabited by the Sacs and 
Foxes,, and fully sustain the position whicli we have 

* Colonel Whittlesey, of the Geological Corps of. Ohio. See Hesna* 
rian for February, 1839, in which this gentleman ha* given valuable 
recollections of a tour through Wisconsin ia JttS. 

i*W «F M.AW HAWK. *4ff 

taken mthis volume, that the « Black Hawk war** 
was the result of unprovoked agressions made by 
the American people upon the Indians, 

" I have just returned from a delightful voyage. 
I have explored a portion of the exquisitely beauti- 
ful shores of the upper Mississippi, and am ready 
to confess that until now, I had little idea t)f the ex* 
tent, the grandeur, or the resources of the west. The 
World cannot prbdtice such another country as this 
great valley of ours. Yet to understand its value, 
one must ascend the Mississippi and the Illinois, and 
see the noble prairies of the two states which are 
destined to eclipse all others. I cannot convey to 
you in adequate language, my admiration of this at- 
tractive region. The traveller who visits the western 
country, and fancies he has acquired any knowledge 
of it— I say any, by simply tracing the meanders 
of the Ohio, or spending weeks ? or years, if you 
please, at Cincinnati or Louisville, is very much 
mistaken. There is much to admire in western 
Pennsylvania and Virginia ; Kentucky and Ohio 
are full of attraction ; but the man who is really ^n. 
admirer of nature, and would witness the most 
splendid exhibitions of the creative power, must go 
to Illinois and Missouri. 

" I visited this region for the first time four years 
ago, while the Sacs and Foxes were at peace with 
the whites, and before Black Hawk had got to be a 
great man. They were friendly and Ivefl-dispdsed, 
and the white people residing near them, would 
almost as soon have distrusted or disturbed each 
other, as those peaceful red men. I took great in- 
terest in noticing their dwellings, and remarking 
their deportment, as it was, the first occasion I had 
ever enjoyed of seeing the savage in his own wild 
home. I had embarked on board a steamboat at 
St. Louis, intending to take n pleasant excursion to 

*fta until BL^eK HAWK* 

the fells of St Anthony i The weather was very 
delightful, only a little too warm ; and the river 
was unfortunately so low, that on arriving at the 
Des Moines rapids, we found it difficult to ascend 
them, and above that point, pur progress was con- 
tinually impeded by the difficulty of the navigation. 
This circumstance, though vexatious to such of the 
passengers as had business ahead, or families at 
home, was not disagreeable to one vho, like my- 
self, travelled only for amusement, as it afforded 
opportunities of exploring the romantic shores. 
We spent a day at the Lower Rapids, and I have 
seldom seen a more attractive country. The land 
is high on both sides, and rises gradually in beau- 
tiful swells. I saw hundreds of acres covered 
with the native, buckeye, the most beautiful tree 
of the foresWif, indeed, any can be entitled U?- 
^that distinction among so great a variety of noble 
*and majestic trees. Beneath, was a rich under* 
growth of wild gooseberry bushes. Add to v these 
the beautiful creeper, and the wild honeysuckle, 
which were occasionally seen, and it is impossible 
to . imagine a vegetation more splendidly TuxurianJ 
and ornarnental. The whole country is based on 
rock, and the springs which burst out from the hill 
sides are clear as crystal and delightfully cold. The 
shores of the river are plentifully strewed with 
crystalizations and petrifactions. ,We* picked up 
some fine specimens of cornelian, and saw a vast 
number of geodes of every size, from one inch in 
diameter to fifteen. . 

. " It was Sunday. Have you ever experienced 
the singular and pleasing associations connected 
with a sabbath passed in the wilderness ? I have 
often enjoyed these feelings,, but pever felt them 
with such force as on this day. It was calm and 
sultry. The brilliant sunbeams were brightly re- 
flec^d froni the broad bosom of the Mississippi, 


and the deep greep outline of the forest was splen- 
didly illumined, while the deep shadows underneath 
the foliage afforded an attractive appearance of 
coolness and seclusion. The passengers and crew 
were scattered aboui singly or in small parties, so 
that when I wandered but a small distance from 
the vessel, and seated myself on a hill which com- 
manded a view of the river and its banks, I found 
myself perfectly alone. Not a living object was 
visible, not a sound was heard, not a leaf or a limb 
stirred. How different from the streets of a city 
upon a sabbath morn, when crowds of well-dressed 
persons are seen moving in every direction ,; when 
the cheerful bells are sounding, and the beautiful 
smiling children are hurrying in troops to Sunday 
school ! Here 1 was in solitude. I saw not the 
laborer resting from toil, nor the smile of infancy, 
nor the christian bowing before his God ; but Na- 
ture proclaimed a sabbath by the silence that, reign- 
ed abroad, and the splendor with which she had 
adorned her works. 

"It is natural that these recollections of my first 
visit to the frontier should mingle with the obser- 
vations made in my recent tour through the same 
scenes; I shall therefore not attempt to separate 
the remarks made on either occasion, but give some 
of the results of both voyages. 

"leap scarcely describe the sensations with which 
I first saw the solitary lodge of an Indian hunter, 
on the shore of the Mississippi. In my childhood 
I had read with thrilling interest, the tales of border 
warfare ;* but I had not learned to hate an Indian 
with mortal hatred. I verily believe they have 
souls. People may think differently in certain pla- 
ces, which shall be nameless, but I cannot be per- . 
suadedto the contrary. Yb it cannot irnagine any 
thing more frail than an Indian wigwam— a mere 
shelter of pole$ arid mats, so small, so apparently. 

2S2 mfe 6* blacI: hawk. 

inadequate to any purpose of security "or Comfort, 
that it is hardly possible to believe it to be intended 
for the residence of human beings. In such habi- 
tations reside the Indian warrior, whose name is a 
terror to Ids enemies ; and the dark maiden, whose 
story supplies the poet with rich materials, with 
which to embellish the page of fiction; In such 
wretched hovels reside the aboriginal lords of the 
soil. v 

" I have seen in this region, evidences of perse- 
cution perpetrated by our people upon this unhap- 
py race, such as the American people would scarce- 
ly believe ; and I am satisfied that if the events- of 
the late war could be traced to their true source, 
every real philanthropist in the nation would bltish 
for his country. 

"I could relate many anecdotes, to Show the 
friendly feelings entertained towards pur govern- 
ment and people by the Sacs — feelings which, whe- 
ther of fear or of kindness, have rendered them 
wholly submissive, and which nothing but the most 
unprovoked aggression on our side, could have kin- 
dled into hostility. I will only, at this time, repeat 
one, which occurred during my first voyage, reser- 
ving others for a future letter, 

" One day, when the boat stopped to take iti 
wood, some of us strolled up to the house of a Mr. 
D., a respectable farmer from Pennsylvania. He 
had been living here several years, pi a spot distant, 
from any settlements, and without a single neigh- 
bor. Upon our inquiring whether he felt no atom 
in residing thus alone in the vicinity of the Indians, 
he replied that his family had formerly experienced 
rnuch uneasiness, but that they had" long since be* 
come satisfied that there was no ground for appre- 
hension. He was convince^ that the Sacs, their 
nearest neighbors, so far froifii being disposed to irt- 

jure the whites, were cautious and timid df giving 
offence. In support of this opinion, he related the 
following anecdote. 

" His house stands on a high hank of the Missis- * 
sippi, and the family were one day much alarmed 
by discovering a large number of Indians passing 
up the river in canoes. They passed along* in a 
most disorderly manner, some paddling their little 
vessels, and others strolling along the shore, but the 
majority evidently intoxicated. It was the latter 
circumstance which caused alarm. The Indians 
had been to St. Louis to receive their annuities, and 
had procured a sufficient supply of whisky to ren- 
der them unsafe visitors. ITiey continued, how- 
ever, straggling along in larger or smaller parties all 
day, without stopping. At night, one of them, a 
young warrior of prepossessing appearance, earner 
to the house, and in the most respectful manner, 
asked permission to sleep upon the floor of the 
cabin. Mr. D-, although by no means pleased with 
his guest, knew not how to refuse. The Indian 
warrior was invited to supper. A plentiful meal, 
such as composed the ordinary repast of the fami- 
ly, was placed before him, and having satisfied his 
hunger, he wrapped himself in his blanket, threw 
himself on the floor before the fire, and went to 
sleep. In the course of the night, Mr. D. happen- 
ing to go out, discovered some Indians lying in the 
bushes not far from the house; without disturbing 
them, he proceeded in a different direction, where 
he found another party; they were strewed, in 
short, entirely around his dwelling. The fact of be- 
ing thus surrounded, the conceaiment,*and the si 
lence of the Indians, all conspired to awaken suspi- 
cion, and he passed the night in no small degree of 
uneasiness. He rose early in the morning ; his In- 
dian guest also started up, gathered his blanket 
around hiin, and took leave ; first, however, e*. 

2M; "*%?* '"•ack iuw*. 

plaining to Mr. D. that he belonged to n party of 
Sacs who. were returning from St. Louis, and that 
many of them being intoxicated, it had been 
thought proper to station a guard round Mr. D.'s 
house, to protect him and his property from injury. 
He added, that if any depredation should be disco- 
vered »to have been committed _by the Indians, the 
chiefs would jpay^Mr. D. the full amount. Such ari . 
example of the .care taken by the chiefs of this 
tribe to avoid giving umbrage to the whites, affords 
the highest testimony, either of their friendship for 
our people, or their respect for our power. 

" The Sac and Fox tribe inhabited, at that time, 
a beautiful tract of country in Illinois, upon the 
borders of Rock river. These two tribes are usu- 
ally mentioned in conjunction, because the Foxes, 
many years ago, having been nearly exterminated 
in a war with some of their neighbors, the remnant 
of the nation, too feeble to exist, as a separate* tribe, 
so\tght refuge in the Sac villages, and have remain- 
ed ever since incorporated with the latter people. 
They are a fine looking race of people, and are well 
disposed towards the whites. They have long been 
divided, however, into two parties, one of which is 
friendly towards, our government, while' the other, 
called the British band, is under the influence of 
the British traders. It has always been the policy 
of. the latter, to keep the Indians upon the western 
frontier in a state of dissection towards the Amer- 
ican people, and by these means, to secure to them- 
selves an undue proportion of the fur trade. So 
long as it should remain difficult upon our part to 
gain access to the tribes, and our intercourse with 
them bQ liable to interruption, jealousy, and dis- 
trust, so long would ,the British trader possess an., 
advantage over vs in relation to thi* traffic. The' 
British fur companies, whose agents ggre numerous, 
iitfeliigent,.and enterprising^ have always acted upoi* 

tum 99 fifcftQK HAWX. 4JA 

this policy, and the English officers in Canada, both 
civil and military, have given it their sanction. Al- 
most all the atrocities which have been committed 
on our frontiers by the Indians, within. the last fifty 
years-, have been directly or indirectly, incited by 
the incendiary agents of that mercenary govern- 
ment The British band of the Sacs and Foxes 
have been in the habit of visiting Maiden annu- 
ally, and receiving valuable presents — presents, 
which being made to a disaffected portion of a 
tribe residing not only within the United States, but 
within the limits of a state, could be viewed in no 
other light than as bribes, — the wages of disaffec- 
tion. Black Hawk, though not a chief, is one of the 
most influential individuals of the British band." 

In a late number of the American Museum, we 
find the following article. It bears intrinsic evi- 
dence of coming from the same pen, and presents 
in a striking point of view the rapid extension of 
our settlements, and the consequent recession of the 

" Most of our readers have become familiarly 
acquainted with the name of the redoubted Black 
Hawk, whose adventures are this volume 
and whose fame has been spread from Maine to 
Florida. There was a time when he shared the 
eager, attention of the public with Fanny Kemble 
and the cholera, and was one of the lions of the 
day ; and as jpegulaxly talked about as the weather, 
the last new novel, or the candidates for the presi- 
dency. The war in Illinois, though bjf brief dura- 
tion, and not marked by any stirring: events, came 
suddenly .upon us after a long series , of /peaceful 


2M LH* dF%fc*ta1ftAWlU 

ycarstipon th* northwestern border. Thesarages, 
weary of fruitless conflicts, or quelled by the supe- 
rior numbers of a gigantic and growing foe, seemed 
to have submitted to their fate, and the pioneer had 
deased to number the war-whoop among the in- 
quietudes of the border life. The plains of Illinois 
and Missouri Were rapidly becoming peopled by 
civilized men, A race less hardy than the back- 
woodsmen were tempted by the calm to migrate to 
those delightful solitudes, that bloomed with more 
than Arcadian fascinations of fruitfulness and beau- 
ty. The smoke of the settler's cabin began to as- 
cend from the margin of every stream in that wide 
region, and the cattle strayed through rich pastures, 
of which the buffalo, the elk, and the deer, had long 
enjoyed a monopoly — an unchartered monopoly — 
wondering, no doubts at their good luck in having 
their lives cast in such pleasant places. 

It was the writer's lot to ramble over th(rt beauti- 
ful country while these interesting scenes were pre- 
sented ; while the wilderness still glowed in its 
pristine luxuriance : while the prairie-grass- and the 
wild flowers still covered the plain, and the deer 
continued to frequent his ancient haunts, and while 
the habitations of the new settlers were so widely 
ajid so thinly scattered, that the nearest neighbors 
cbul(J scarcely have exchanged the courtesy of an 
jarinual visit without the aid of the seven-leagued 
bbots of ancient story. But though in solitude, 
they lived without fear. There were none to mo- 
lest nor make them afraid. If they had few friends, 
they hadno enemiefc. If the Indian naked at the set- 
tler's door, it was to solicit hospitality, flot to offer 
violence. But more frequently he stalked silently by, 
tunid 6f giving offence to the ivhite man, whom he 
doubtless regarded as an intruder upon his own an- 
.kfent heritage, but whose possession he had been 
taught to respect, because he had-evot found it 


guarded by a strong and swift arm, that had never 
failed to repay aggression with ten-fold vengeance. 
Suddenly, however, a change came over this cheer- 
ing scene. The misconduct of a. few white men 
disturbed the harmony of a wide region. The In- 
dians were oppressed and insulted to the last point 
of forbearance, and a small but restless band, re- 
garded as insubordinate and troublesome even by 
their own nation, seized upon the occasion to rush 
to war. 

It is wonderful to look back upon this eventful 
history. The country over which Black Hawk, 
with a handful of followers, badly armed, and des- 
titute of stores or munitions of war, roamed for 
hundreds of miles, driving off the scattered inhabit 
tants, is now covered with flourishing settlements, 
with substantial houses, and large farms — hot \vith 
the cabins and clearings of bordermen — but with 
the comfortable dwellings ajid the well-tilled fields 
of independent. farmers. Organized counties and 
all the subordination of social life are there ; and 
there are the noisy school-house, the decent church, 
the mill, the country store, the fat ox, and the sleek 
plough-horse. The yankee is there with his no- 
tions and his patent-rights, and the travelling agent 
with his subscription book ; there are merchandise 
from India and from England, and, in short, all the 
luxuries of life, from Bulwer's last novel down to 
Brandreth's.pills. And all this has been done in six 
years — in less than half the time of Jacob's court- 
ship. In 1832 the Saukie warriors ranged over 
that fertile region, which is now {1838) covered 
with an industrious population ; while the Territo- 
ries" of Wisconsin and Iowa, and vast settlements 
in Missouri, have since grown up, beyond the re-, 
gion which, was then the frontier and the seat of 
waj. : 

W2 '. 



The Sioux or Dacotas, are a numerous, power- 
ful and warlike nation of Indians, who have been 
appropriately called the Arabs of the west. Be- 
tween them and the Sacs and Foxes, there has ex- 
isted, from the settlement of the two latter tribes on 
the waters of the Mississippi, a hostility of feeling 
that has kept them embroiled in a constant warfare. 
The efforts of government to break down their pre- 
judices and make peace between them, have failed in 
accomplishing that benevolent end. It is not, how- 
ever, against the Sacs and Foxes alone, that their arms 
are turned. From time immemorial they have been 
at war with the Chippe ways, and are also constant- 
ly making hostile incursions upon other neighbor- 
ing tribes. They usually fight on horseback, and 
being very superior horsemen, they are generally 
more than a match for their antagonists. In School- 
craft's Narrative, we find the following account of 
their numbers, habits and peculiarities of char- 

" The numerical strength of the Sioux nation was 
stated by the late General Pike at 21,675, three 
thousand eight hundred of whom are warriors. 
This is the most powerful Indian tribe in North 
America. It consists of seven bands, namely the 
Minokantongs, the Yengetongs, the Sissitongs, the 
Wahpetongs, the Titongs, the Mendewacantongi 
and the Washpecontongs. These are independent 
bands under their own, chiefs, but united in a con- 
federacy for the protection of their territories; and 

. 258 


send deputies to a -general council of the chiefs and 
warriors, whenever the concerns of their nation re- 
quire it. If otie^>f the tribes is attacked, the others 
are expected to assist in the repulsion of the enemy. 
They inhabit all the country, between the Missis* 
sippi and Missouri rivers, from north latitude about 
46° to the junction of these rivers near St. Louis, 
with trifling exceptions in favor of some scattered 
bands of Foxes, Sacs and Kickapoos. Their coun- 
try afeo extends south of the Missouri, where the 
Srincipal part of the Titongs reside, and east of ,the 
lississippi to tha territories of the Chippeways — 
the Winnebagoes and the Menominies. The great- 
est chief of the nation at present (1620) is Talai> 
gamane, or the Red Wing. 

" The Minocantongs, or people of the waters, 
are located at St. Peters, and along the banks of 
the Mississippi towards Prairie jdu Chien. They 
reside in four principal villages. 

"The Yengetongs and the Sessitongs inhabit the 
upper parts of the river St. Peters,? and are some- 
times called the Sioux of the plains; Their traffic 
is .principally in Buffalo- robes* The Wahpetongs, 
or people of the leaves are the most erratic in their 
dispositions of all the Sioux; they inhabit the St 
Peters between the Prairie de Francois and tb# 
White Rock, during a part of the year, and gener- 
ally go out to hunt above the falls of St Anthony 
towards the sources of the river De Corbeau, and 
upon the plains which give, origin to the Craw, Sac 
and Elk rivers* • 

"The Titongs inhabit both banks of the Mis* 
souri, and rove in quest of game oyer an immense 
extent of country. They are said to be related to 
the Mahas, and some other # band> south of the 
Missouri. -* ' 

"The Mendewacantongs* or people of the Medft 
cine Late, *a Washpecotttonga, or people aCttm 

Leaves, who have run away, and some other scat 
tered bands, whose names are unknown, inhabit 
the country generally, from St. Peters south te the 
mouth of the Missouri, and are chiefly locatedjjp- 
on the sources of the rivers Ocancylowa, and Se£- 
moines. ^ 

" The Sioux are generally represented as a brave, 
generous and spirited people, with proud notions of 
their origin as a tribe, and their superiority as hunters 
and warriors, and with a predominant passion for 
war. They speak the Narcotah language, which is 
peculiar to themselves, and appeals to have little af- 
finity with any other Indian tongue. It is not so soft 
and sonorous as the Algonquin which abounds in 
labials, but more so than the Winnebago, which is 
the most harsh and guttural language in America. 
The Narcojtah sounds to an English ear, like the Chi- 
nese, and both in this, and in other respects, the Sioux 
are thought to present many points of coincidence. 
It is certain that their manners and customs differ 
essentially from those of any other tribe, and their 
physiognomy, as well as their language, and opin- 
ions, mark them a distinct race of people. Their 
sacrifices and their supplications 'to the unknown 
God — their feasts after any signal deliverance from 
danger — their meat, and their burnt offerings — the 
preparation of incense, and certain customs of their 
females, offer loo striking a - coincidence, with the 
manners of the Asiatic tribes, before the commence* 
ment of the Christian era, to escape observation, 
while their paintings and hieroglyphics bear «o 
much analogy to those of the Asteetes of Mexico, 
as to render it probable that the latter are of Nat*, 
dowessian origin." 

*< From my^ knowledge of the Sioux nation," ob- 
serves Lieutenant Pike, " I do not hesitate to, pro- 
nounce them the most warlike and independent na- 
tion of Indians, within the boundatiea. of the United 

x SKETCHED 6f Tft* SIOUX. £61 

States, their every passion being subservient to that 
of war. Their guttural pronunciation, high chee£ 
bones, their visages, and distinct manners, together 
with their own traditions, supported by the testimo^ 
ny of neighboring nations, put it in my mind be- 
yond a shadow of doubt, that they have emigrated 
trdm the north west point of America, to which 
they had come across the narrow streights, which 
m that quarter divide the two continents; and are 
absolutely descendants of a Tartarean tribe." 

The following anecdote of a- Sioux chief, and of a 
council held by Governor Cass, some years since, for 
the purpose of making peace between the Sioux 
and Chippeways, is drawn from a letter from that 
officer, to the war department.* 

" Some years since, mutually weary of hostilities, 
the chiefs of both nations met, and agreed upon a 
truce. But the Sioux disregarding the solemn com- 
pact they had formed, and actuated by some -sud- 
den impulse attacked and murdered a number of 
Chippeways. The -old Chippeway chief was pre- 
sent at the time, and his life was saved by the in- v 
trepidity and self-devotion of a Sioux chief. TmV 
man intreated, remonstrated, threatened. He ad- 
jured his countrymen, by every motive, tor abstain 
. from any violation of their faith: and rinding his 
remonstrances useless, he attached himself to* the 
Chippeway chief, and avowed his determination to 
save him or perish. Awed by such intrepidity, the 
Sioux finally agreed that he should ransom the* 
Chippewa. This he did at the expeuse of all tho 
property he possessed.- The Sioux chief now ac- 
companied him on his journey, until he considered 
1 him safe from any of the parlies of the Sioux, who 
might be disposed to pursue him. 

" Believing it equally Inconsistent with humanity 

* See Traito'ttf Indian Character, 1r/ G. Timer. V r * 


and sound policy, that these border contests should 
be suffered to continue; and feeling that the Indians 
have a full portion of moral aiid physical evils, 
without adding to them the calamities of a war, 
which had no definite object, Governor Cobs being 
at Sandy lake, offered his mediation to the Chippe- 
way chiefs, to which they readily acceded. In 
consequence, a deputation of ten of their men de- 
scended the Mississippi with him. 

" The Chippeways landed occasiojiaily,.to examine 
whether any of the Sioux had recently visited that 
quarter. In one of these excursions, there .was 
found, suspended to a tree, in an exposed situa- 
tion, a piece of birch-bark, made flat, by being fas- 
tened between two sticks, about eighteen inches 
long by fifteen broad. This bark contained the 
answer of the Sioux nation, to overtures which the 
the Chippeways had made, on Governor Cass' offer 
of mediation; — which overtures had been found 
and taken off by a party of the Sioux. So revenge- 
ful and sanguinary had the contest been between 
these tribes, that no personal communication could 
take place. Neither the sanctity of the office, nor 
the importance of the message, could protect the 
ambassador of either party from the vengeance of 
he other. 

" The preliminaries to a peace being thus settled, 
the Sioux and Chippeways met in joint council — 
smoked the pipe of peace together, and then in 
their own figurative language, " buried the toma- 
hawk so deep, that it could never be dug up 

Another anecdote is related by Mr. Schoolcraft 
which we quote as illustrative of the character, in 
some degree, of this singular and warlike race." 

" Le Petit Corbeau, a chief of a small band of 
Sioux, located upon the banks of the Mississippi, 
towards the confines of the Chippeway territory, 


going out one morning to examine his beaver trap, 
found a Sauteur in the act of stealing it. He had 
approached without exciting alarm, and while the 
Sauteur was engaged in taking the trap from the 
water, he stood maturely surveying him with a 
loaded rifle in his hands. As the two nations were 
at wa£ and the offence was in itself one of the 
most heinous nature, he would have been justified 
in killing him on the spot, and the thief looked for 
nothing else, on finding himself detected. But the 
Sioux chief walking up to him discovered a no- 
bleness of disposition which would have done hon- 
or to the most enlightened of men. < Take no alarm/ 
said he, <at my approach; I only come to present to 
you the trap of which I see you stand in need* You 
are entirely welcome to it. Take my gun also, as 
I perceive you have none of your own, and depart 
with k to the land of your countrymen, but linger 
not here, iest some of my young men, who are 
panimg for the blood of their enemies, should dis 
cover your footsteps in our country, and fall upon 
you.' So saying he delivered him his gun and ac- 
coutrements, and returned -unarmed to the village of 
which he is so deservedly the chief." 


The plan, now in progress of execution, for the 
removal of all the Indians, within the limits of the 
United States, to a region of country west of Mis- 
souri and Arkansas, will of course, when carried 
out, greatly modify our relations with them. New 
laws must be enacted by Congress, and new treaties 
formed between the Indians and the United States. 

From the organization of the federal government 
to the present time, our relations with the Indians 
have been the subject of frequent legislation, and 
the statute book bears many evidences of benevo- 
lent action towards this ill-fated race. If the laws 
enacted by Congress for the protection and civiliza- 
tion of the aborigines of this country, had been re- 
gularly and rigidly enforced, and a more impartial 
interpretation of the treaties made with them, had 
been observed, their condition would have been far 
better than it now is — they would have passed from 
the hunter to the pastoral state, and have grown in 
numbers, virtue and intelligence. ' But these laws 
and these treaties, have been year after year violated 
by our own people, and the result has been a con- 
stant deterioration of the Indians. This is especial- 
ly true of those laws intended to prevent our citi- 
zens from hunting on the Indian lands, residing ip 
their country, and trading with them without a li 
cense from the United States. These have general 
ly been a dead letter upon the national statute 
book, and the encroachments of the lawless fron- 
tiers-men, the trader, the land speculator, and the 
vender of spirituous liquors, have impoverished 
degraded, and vitiated, more or less, every tribe 
within thp limits of the United States. It is to thi* 
intercourse, with these classes of persons, that the 



Dad faith, the savage barbarities, and border-wars, 
of which so much complaint is made against the 
Indians, are to be mainly attributed. The rapacity of 
our people, for their peltries and their land, the fee- 
ble execution of laws made for their protection, and 
the loose morality which has governed our general 
intercourse with them, have wasted their numbers, 
debased their character, and tarnished the honor of 
that nation, which, from the very organization of 
its government, has claimed to be their benevolent 

The plan of removing the Indians beyond the 
limits ot the United States is not new. If not orig- 
inal with Mr. Jefferson, it was commended by him, 
and has been approved, we believe, by each succes- 
sive administration since his day. It looked of 
course to a peaceable not a forcible removal of 
them. Whether the details of the original plan cor- 
responded with those of the law, under which this 
removal is going on, we do not know. 

The substance of the present plan may be gath- 
ered from the following provisions: 

1st. To secure the lands on which they are plac- 
ed to the several tribes by patent, with only such 
restrictions as are necessary to prevent white men 
from purchasing them, or encroaching upon them. 

2d. To establish a territorial government, all the 
offices of which, (except those of the governor and 
secretary,) are to be filled with Indians, wherever 
competent natives can be obtained. 

3d. To provide for a general council of delegates, 
chosen by and from the tribes, with legislative pow- 
ers ; their enactments not to be valid till they have 
been approved by the President of the United 

4th. To have a delegate, always a native, re- 
main at Washington, during the sessions of Con- 
cress, to attend to the affairs of the territory, 
12 X 


who shall be allowed the pay and emoluments of a 
member of Congress. 

5th. To encourage, by liberal annual payments 
of money provided for in treaties, the establishment 
of schools and colleges; in which competent native 
teachers arc always to be preferred when they can 
be had. 

The power and influence of the United States are 
to be directed in protecting them from the whites; 
in preserving peace among the different tribes, and 
in stimulating them, by rewards and emoluments, 
in acquiring the habits of civilized life. The efforts 
of the benevolent to carry Christianity, among them, 
if made in conformity with the regulations of the 
territory, are to be cherished. These are the lead- 
ing features of the new system of Indian regula- 
tions, established by government for the civilization 
of the Indians. The territory set apart for this ob- 
ject, lies west of the states of Arkansas and Mis- 
souri, running north from the Red river about six 
hundred miles, and west from the western bounda- 
ries of these states about two hundred miles. The 
number of Indians within the territory of the Uni- 
ted States is estimated to approach to near half a 
million of souls. 

It must be obvious to every one familiar with the 
Indian character, and with the history of our past 
relations with this people, that the success of this 
plan, will depend, in a veiy great degree, upon the 
manner in which its details shall be executed by 
the government. A failure will inevitably ensue, 
if white men are permitted to come in contact with 
the Indians. The strong arm of the military power 
of the United States, will be requisite to stay the 
encroachments of our people, whose love of ad- 
venture and whose thirst for gain, will carry them 
among the Indians, unless arrested by more cogent 


considerations than a sense of duty, or the prohibi? 
tions of the statute book;. .:•,■. 

Instead of attempting to supply them with goods 
by % licensing traders to reside among them, they 
should be encouraged to sell their furs and peltriep 
arid to make, their purchases in the. United States* 
On the former system they are liable to constant 
imposition,* and the very articles whicli the traders 
carry among them, are worthless in kind and poor 
m quality; but if the Indians traded with us, with T 
in the limits of the United States, .they would have 
the competion arising from a number of buyers and 
sellers, they would obtain better prices for their fur$ 
and procure more valuable articles, upcm fairer 
terms, in exchange. They would also be bcTieritted 
by observing our manners and customs, adopting 
our style of dress, learning the value of property, 
and gaining some knowledge of agriculture and the 
use of mechanical tools, and implements of husban- 
dry. But the most important advantage to be gain^ 
ed by their trading within the United States, voiild 
be in their protection from imposition. It has been 
truly and forcibly remarked, 

" Humanity shudders at the recital of the nefa* 
rious acts practised by the white traders , upon the 
Indians. Yet not half of them are known or dreamed 
of by the American people. We refer again to Mr. 
Tanner's Narrative, which every man who has a 
vote on this subject ought to read. Here we find 
the traders sometimes taking by force y from an In- 
dian, the produce of a whole year's hunt, without 
making him any return, sometimes pilfering k por- 
tion while buying the remainder, and still oftener 
wresting from the poor wretches, while in a state 
of intoxication, a valuable property, for an inade- 
quate, remuneration. In one. place, our author tells 
of an India* woman, his adopted mother, who, " ra 
the .course of a single clay, sold, ope hundred wd 

S68 ' '"" APPEHDtX: w ! "' 

twenty beaver skins, with a large quantity of bu£ 
falo robes, dressed and smoked skins, and other 
articles, for rum." He oathetically. adds, « of all 
our large load of peltries, the produce of so many 
days of toil, so many long and difficult journeys, 
one blanket and three kegs of rum, only remained, 
besides the poor and almost worn out clothing on 
our bodies." The sending of missionaries, to la- 
bor by the side of the miscreants who thus swindle 
and debauch the ignorant savage, is a mockery of 
the office, and a waste of the time of these valuable 
men. If the Indians traded within our states, with 
our regular traders, the same lawjs and the same 
public sentiment which protects us, would protect 

This is no exaggerated picture.' Fraud, oppres- 
sion and violence, have characterized our' inter- 
course with the Indians, and it is in vain to hope 
for any amelioration of their savage condition, so 
long as an intercourse of this kind is permitted. In 
the very nature of things, the plan of civilizing the 
Indians, by forming a confederacy of them, beyond 
the limits of the United States, will prove unsuc- 
cessful, unless they are surrounded by a cordon of 
military posts, and the whites are stayed, by physi 
ical force, from entering their territories for any 
f r arpose whatever. 

It is to this intercourse that the Indian wars; which 
have so frequently caused the blood of the white and 
the red man to flo win torrents, upon our frontier, are 
mainly to be attributed. It has been asserted, even 
by those who claim to be the grave historians of 
this unfortunate people, that these wars are almost 
without exception, the result of that cruelty and in- 
satiable thirst for blood which belong to the Indian 
character. One of these writers, the Rev, Timothy 
Flint, in his "Indian Wars of the West," says, 
" We affirm an undoubting belief, from ho trtifre 



quent, nor iuconsiderable means of observation, that 
aggression has commenced, in the account current 
of mutual crime, as a hundred to one, on the part. 
of the Indians." We do not question the sincerity 
of this belief, but we do question, entirely, the cor- 
rectness of the conclusion to which the writer brings 
his mind: we affirm without hesitation, that it is a 
conclusion that cannot be sustained by testimony. 
If the individual making it, had looked less super- 
ficially at the case, and had gone to the primary 
eauses that have produced the bloody collisions be r 
tween his countrymen and the Indians, he could 
never have made so great a mistake as the one he 
has committed in the paragraph quoted above. If 
kindness, good faith and honesty of dealing, had 
marked our social, political and commercial inter- 
course with the Indians, few, if any of these bloody 
wars would have occurred; and these people, in- 
stead of being debased by our intercourse with them, 
would have been improved and elevated in the 
rieale of civilization. The history of the early settle- 
ment of Pennsylvania and its illustrious founder, 
affords the strongest testimony on this point. The 
justice, benevolence and kindness which marked 
file conduct of Perm towards the Indians, shielded 
his infant colony from aggression, and won for him 
personally, a generous affection, that would have 
been creditable to any race of people. 

Upon this point it has been well and forcibly re- 
marked by a philanthropic writer,* Of our country, 

" The American Indian is sometimes regarded as 
a being who is prone to all that is revolting and 
cruel.' He is cherished in excited imaginations, a* 
a demoniac phantasm, delighting in bloodshed, 

* See a u Discourse on the Surviving Rentaant of the- Indian Race 
id die United States," by Job R. Tyson, Eeq. of Philadelphia, 
X 2 

Without a spark of generous sentiment or native 
benevolence. The philosophy of man should teach, 
us, that the Indian is nothing less than a human 
being, in whom the animal tendencies predominate 
over the spiritual. His morals and intellect having 
received neither culture nor developement, he pos- 
sesses otl the one hand, the infirmities of humanity; 
while on the other the divine spark in his heart, if 
not blown into a genial warmth, has hot been ex« 
tiriguished by an artificial polish. His affections 
are strong, because they are confined to a few oh* 
Jects; his enmities are deep and permanent, because 
they are nursed in secret, without a religion to coiu 
trbl them. Friendship is with him a sacred senti- 
ment. He undertakes long and toilsome journeys 
to do justice to its object; he exposes himself, for 
its sake, to every species of privation;, he fights for 
it; and often dies in its defence; He appoints no 
fecial messenger to proclaim, by -an empty for- 
mality, the commencement of war.. Whilst the 
European seeks advantages in the subtle finesse of 
negotiation, the American pursues them according 
to the instincts of a less refined nature, and the dic- 
tates of a less sublimated policy. He seeks his en- 
emy before he expects him, and thus renders him 
his prey. . 

No better evidence need be adduced of his ca- 
pacity for a lively and lasting friendship, than the 
history of Pennsylvania^ during the life time of 
the founder. It is refreshing and delightful to see 
one fair page, in the dark volume of injustice an 
erime, which American annals, on this subject pre. 
sent. -While this page reflects upon the past an 
"accumulated odium, it furnishes lessons for the 
guide and edification of the future. Let me invite 
the philanthropist to this affecting story. 
. A chief object of Penn, in the settlement of his 
pro vinee, was neither land, gold nor dominion, J**? 


"the glory of-God, by the civilization of the poor 
Indian." Upon his arrival in Pennsylvania, the 
' pledge contained in his charter was redeemed by a 
friendly compact with the " poor Indian " which 
was never to be violated, and by a uniform and 
scntpulons devotion to his rights and interests. 
Qldmixon and Clarkson inform us> that he expen- 
ded w thousands of pounds " for the physical . and 
social improvement of these untutored and house- 
less tenants of the woods. His estate became im- 
paired by the munificence of his bounty. In return 
for benevolence so generous and pure, the Indians 
showed a reality of affection and an ardor of grati- 
tude, which they had on ho previous occasion pro- 
fessed. The colony was exempted from those ca- 
lamities of war and desolation, which form so 
prominent a picture in the early annals of Ameri- 
can settlements. During a period of forty years, 
the settlers and natives lived harmoniously toge- 
ther, neither party complaining of a single act' of 
violence or the infliction of an injury unredressed. 
The memory of Penn lived green and fresh in their 
esteem, gratitude, and reverence, a contury after. 

The tribe thus subdued by the pacific and philan- 
thropic principles of Penn, have been untruly de- 
scribed as a cowardly and broken down race,. They 
were a branch of the great family of Indians, who, 
for so many years, carried on a fierce and bloody 
strife with the Alligewi on the Mississippi, and 
waged a determined hostility with the Mengwe. 
At one period they were the undisputed masters of 
the large tract of country, now known as the terri- 
tory of the middle states. On the arrival of the 
English, their number in Pennsylvania was compu- 
ted at thirty or forty* thousand souls. Their nistory 
spoke only of conquest. They were a brave, proud 
and warlike race, who gloried in the preservation 
f a character for valor, descended from the re- 


motest times. The confederacy of the Six Nations, 
by whom they were finally vanquished, was not 
formed until 1713, and their defeat, as evidenced 
by their peculiar subjugation occurred within a few 
months antecedent to the demise of the proprietary. 
The same people annihilated the colony of Des 
Vries, in 1632, formed a conspiracy to exterminate 
the Swedes, under Printz, in 1646; and were the 
authors of the subsequent murders which afflicted 
the settlements, before the accession of the English 

" Such an example furnishes some insight into 
the elements of Indian character. Little doubt can 
exist, if the subject were fairly examined, that most 
of those sanguinary wars, of which history speaks 
with a shudder, would be found to have arisen leas 
from the blood-thirsty Indian, than from the aggres- 
sions of the gold-thirsty and land-thirsty defamex ■*' 


In a historical memoir of the Indians, published 
m the North American Review and attributed to the 
able pen of our present minister to France j there is 
a description of a war-dance, from which the fol- 
lowing extract is made. 

" An Indian War Dance is an important occur- 
rence in the passing eventsr of a village. « The 
whole population is assembled, and a feast provi- 
ded for all. The warriors are painted and prepar- 
ed as for battle. A post is firmly planted in the 
ground, and the singers, the drummers and other mu- 
sicians, are seated within the circle formed by the 
dancers and spectators. „ The music and the dan- 
cers begin. The warriors exert themselves, wilfo 
great energy. Every muscle is in action: and there 
is the most perfect concord between the music and 
their movements. They brandish their weapons, 
Mid with such apparent fury, that fatal accidents 
seem unavoidable. Presently a warrior leaves the 
circle, and with his tomahawk or casse-tete, strikes 
the post. The music and dancing cease, and pro- 
found silence ensues. He then recounts, with a 
loud voice, his military achievements. He de- 
scribes the battles he has fought — the prisoners he 
has captured— the scalps he has taken. He points 
to his wounds, and produces his trophies. He ac- 
companies his narrative with the actual representa- 
tion of his exploits; and* the mimic engagement, 
the advance and the retreat, are all exhibited to his 
nation as they really occurred. There is no exagger- 
ation, no misrepresentation. It would be infamous 
12* 273 


for a warrior to boast of deeds he never performed. 
If the attempt were made, some one would ap- 
proach and throw dirt in his face saying*" I do this 
. to cover your shame; for the first time you see an 
enemy, you will tremble-" But. such an .indignity 
is rarely necessary: *and, as the war parties gener- 
ally, contain many individuals, the character and 
.conduct of every warrior are well known: . Shouts 
*of applause accompany the narration, proportioned 
<in duration and intensity to the interest it excites. 
His station in the circle is then, resumed by the ac- 
tor, and the dance proceeds, till it is interrupted in a 
-similar manner. 

* In the poem of Ontwa, a scene like this is so 
well, described, that we cannot resist the temptation 
to transfer it to our pages. Of alt who have at- 
tempted to embody in song, the " living manners" 
of the 1 Indians, the anonymous author of that poem 
has bfeet* the most successful His characters, and 
-torfditions and descriptions, have the spirit and bear- 
ing of life; and the whole work is not less true to 
nature than to poetry. 

A hundred warriors now advance, 

All dressed and painted for the dance; 

And sounding club and hottow skin . ^ 

A slow and measured time begin ■ : 

With rigid limb and sliding foot, 

And murmurs low the time to suit ; * 

Forever varying wjth the sound, 
j The circling band moves round and round. 

,1 Now slowly rise tli? swelling notes 

When every crest mote lively floats ; '^ 

Now based on high with gesture proud, 

Then lowly mid the circle bow'd; f 

While clanging arms grow louder still, 

Arid every voice becomes more shrill ; 

Till fierce and strong the clamor grows, ' '• 

And the wild war whoop, bids it close. 
. : , Then starts Skunktonga forth, whose band 

Came from for Huron's storm-beat strand, 

And thus recounts his battle feats, 

WWlehis dark dub the measure b6ats* n -.-i. .-. 


Major Long of the U. S. army, in his Expedition 
tip the Missouri, gives an account of a council 
Which he held, at Council Bluff, with a party of one 
hundred Ottoes, seventy Missouries, and fifty or six- 
ty Soways. The Otto nation is known by the name 
of Wah-toh-ta-na. Their principal village is situa- 
ted on the river Platte, about forty miles above its 
junction with the Missouri. At the period of 
this visit,' these Indians had held little if any inter 
course with the whites. After the council was 
over, they performed a dance, in honor of their 
visiters, the description of which will convey to the 
reader a very vivid picture of this ceremony. We 
give it, in Major Long's own words. 

" The amusement of dancing was commenced by 
striking up their rude instrumental and vocal music; 
the former consisting of a gong made of a large 
keg, over one of the ends of which, a skin was 
stretched, which was struck by a small stick, and 
another instrument, consisting of a stick of firm 
wood, notched like a saw, over the teeth of which 
a small stick was rubbed forcibly backward and 
forward. With these, rude as they were, very good 
time was preserved with the vocal performers, who 
sat around them, and by all the natives as they sat, 
in the inflection of their bodies, or the movements 
of their limbs. After the lapse of a little time, three 
individuals leaped up, and danced around for a few 
minutes; then, at a concerted signal of the master 
of ceremonies, the music ceased and they retired to 
their scats, uttering a loud noise, which, by patting 
the mouth rapidly with the hand, was broken into 
a succession of similar sounds, somewhat like the 
hurried barking of a dog. Several sets of dancers 
succeeded, each terminating as the -first. In the in- 
tervals of the dances, a warrior would step forward, 
and strike a flag-staff they had erected, with a stick, 
whip, or other weapon, and recount his martial 


deeds. This ceremony is termed striking the post, 
and whatever is then said, may be relied upon as 
^ rigid truth, being delivered in the presence of many 
a jealous warrior and witness, who could easily de- 
tect, and would immediately disgrace the striker 
for exaggeration or falsehood. This is called the 
beggar 9 s dance — during which, some presents are al- 
ways expected by the performers; as tobacco, whis- 
key, or trinkets. But on this occasion, as none of these 
articles were immediately offered, the amusement 
was not, at first, distinguished by much activity, 

" The master of the ceremonies continually called 
aloud to them to exert themselves, but still they 
•were somewhat dull and backward. Ietan now 
stepped forward, and lashed a post with his whip, 
declaring that he would punish those that did not 
dance. This threat, from one whom they had 
vested with authority for this occasion, had a mani- 
fest effect upon his auditors, who were presently 
highly wrought up, by the sight of two or three 
little, mounds of tobacco twist, which were now 
laid before them, and appeared to infuse new life. 

" After lashing the post, and making his threat, 
Ietan went on to narrate his martial exploits. He had 
stolen horses seven or eijght times from the Kanzas; 
he had first struck the bodies of three of that nation 
slain in battle. He had stolen horses from the Ietan 
nation, and had struck one of their dead. He had 
stolen horses from the Pawnees, and struck the 
body of one Pawnee Loup. He had stolen horses 
several times from the Omawhahs, and once from 
the Puncas. He had struck the bodies of two 
Sioux. On a war party, in company with the Paw- 
nees, he had attacked the Spaniards, and penetrated 
into one of their camps; the Spaniards-— excepting a 
man and a boy — fled, himself being at a distance 
before his party; he was shot at and missed by the 
man, whom he immediately shot down and struck. 


'This, my lather/ said he, <is the only material act 
of my life that I am ashamed oV 

"After several rounds of dancing, and of striking 
at the post, by the warriors, Mi-a-ke-ta, or TheLitth 
Soldiery a war-worn veteran, took his turn to strike 
the post. He leaped actively aboutj and strained 
his voice to its utmost pitch, whilst he portrayed 
some of the scenes of blood in which he had acted 
He had struck dead bodies of individuals of all the 
Red nations around ; Osages, Konzas, Pawnee 
Loups, Pawnee Republicans, Grand Pawnees, Pun- 
cas, Omawhaws, Sioux, Padoucas, La Plain, or 
Bald heads, Ietans, Sacs, Foxes, and Ioways. He 
had struck eight of one nation, seven of another, &c. 

" He was proceeding with his account, when Ietan 
ran up to him, put his hand upon his mouth, and 
respectfully led him to his seat. This act was no 
trifling compliment to the well-known brave; it in- 
dicated, that he had so many glorious achievements 
to speak of, that he would occupy so much time, as 
to prevent others from speaking; and, moreover, put 
to shame the other warriors, by the contrast of his 
actions with theirs. 

" Their physical action in dancing is principally 
confined to leaping a small distance from the ground, 
with both feet, the body being slightly inclined, and, 
upon alighting, an additional slight but sudden in- 
clination of the body is made, so as to appear like 
a succession of jerks; or the feet are raised alter- 
nately, the motion of the body being the same. 
Such are the movements in which the whole party 
correspond; but, in the figures — as they are termed 
in our assembly rooms — each individual performs 
a separate part, and each part is a significant pan- 
tomimic narrative. In all their variety of action, 
they are careful to observe the musical cadences. 
In this dance, Ietan represented one who was in the 
act of stealing horses; he carried a whip in his hand 


as did a considerable number of the Indians, and 
around his neck were thrown several leathern 
thongs, for bridles and halters, the ends of which 
trailed upon the ground behind him. After many- 
preparatory manoeuvres, he stooped down, and 
with his knife, represented the act of cutting the 
hopples of horses. He then rode his tomahawk, as 
children ride their broomsticks, making use of his 
whip, as to indicate the necessity of rapid move- 
ment, lest his foes should overtake him. Wa-sa- 
ha-jing-ga, or Little Black Bear, after a variety of 
gestures, threw several arrows in succession, over 
his own head — thereby indicating his familiarity 
with the flight of such missiles. He, at the same 
time, covered his eyes with his hand, to indicate 
that he was blind to danger. Others represented 
their manoeuvres in battles, seeking their enemy, 
discharging at him their guns or arrows, &c. &c. 

"Most of the dancers were the principal war- 
riors of the nation — men who had not condescend- 
ed to amuse themselves or others, in this manner, 
for years before. But they now appeared in honor 
of the occasion, and to conciliate, in their best man- 
ner, the good will of the representative of the gov- 
ernment of the Big Knives. Amongst these veteran 
warriors, Ietan, or Sha-mon-e-kus-see, Ifa-she-a 
(the Broken Arm), commonly called Cut Nose, and 
Wasa-ha-zing-ga -(or Little Black Bear), three 
youthful leaders, in particular, attracted our atten- 
tion. In consequence of having been appointed 
soldiers on this occasion, to preserve order, they 
were painted entirely black. The countenance of 
the first indicated much wit, and had, in its expres- 
sion, something of the character of that of Voltaire. 
He frequently excited the mirth of those about him, 
by his remarks and gestures. Hashe-a, (called Cut 
Nose, in consequence of having lost the tip of his 
nose, in a quarrel with Ietan,) wore a handsome 


tobe of white wolf skin, with an appendage ba- 
tiind him, called a crow. This singular decoration 
N is a large cushion, made of the skia of a crow, stuffed 
with any light material, and variously ornaihenled. 
It has two decorated sticks, projecting from it up- 
ward, and a pendent one beneath; this apparatus 
^ is secured upon the ; buttocks by a girdle passing 
round the body. The other actors in the scene were 
decorated with paints of several colors, fantastically 
disposed upon t^eir persons. Several were painted 
with white clay, which had the appearance of be- 
ing grooved in many places. This grooved appear- 
ance is given by drawing the finger-nails over the 
part, so as to remove the pigment from thence in 
parallel lines. These lines are either rectilinear, 
undulated, or zigzag; sometimes passing over the 
forehead transversely, or vertically; sometimes in 
the same direction, or obliquely over the whole 
visage, or upon the breast, arms, &c. Many were 
painted with red clay, in which the same lines ap- 
peared. A number of them had the representation 
of a black hand, with outspread fingers, on differ- 
ent parts of the body, strongly contrasting with the 
principal color with which the body was over- 
spread; the hand was depicted in different positions 
upon the face, breast, and back. The face of others 
was colored, one half black, and one half white, or 
red and white, &c. Many colored their hair with 
red clay, but the eye-lids and base of the ears were 
generally tinged with vermilion. 

" At the conclusion of the ceremony, whiskey — 
which they always expect on similar occasions- 
was produced, and a small portion was given to 
each. The principal Chiefs of the different nations 
who had remained passive spectators of the scene, 
now directed their people to return to their camp. 
The word of the Chiefs was obeyed, excepting by 
a few of the Ioways, who appeared to be deter 

280 AmtNftii. ** 

mined to keep their places, notwithstanding' the rel- 
iterated command of the Chiefs. Ietari now sprang 
towards them, with an expression of much ferocity 
in his countenance, and it is probable a tragic scene 
would have been displayed, had not the cniefs re- 
quested him to use gentle means; and thud he sue 
ceeded; after which, the Chiefs withdrew." 



In tracing out the causes which led to the late 
war with the Sac and Fox Indians of Rock river, 
reference was made to the violations of the laws of 
Congress in the introduction of whiskey among them 
by the white traders. The opinion, moreover, was 
expressed that the licensed traders of the United 
States, among these tribes, were in the habit of 
selling this article to them, and under circumstances 
which must have brought home the fact to th6 
knowledge of our Indian agents. Black Hawk with 
other chiefs of the band to which he belonged, 
earnestly remonstrated against the introduction of 
whiskey among his people, because of its debasing 
effect upon their morals, and the danger of its pro- 
voking them to acts of aggression upon the whites, 
while in a state of intoxication. One of the facts, 
set forth in the memorial which the white settlers 
on Rock river, presented to Governor Reynolds, in 
1831, and upon which he declared the state to be 
actually invaded by the Sac and Fox Indians, and 
ordered out the militia to repel it, was the destruc- 
tion, by Black Hawk, of a barrel of whiskey, which 
the owner was retailing to the Indians. The viola- 
tion of the laws of Congress and of express treaty 
Srovisions, in the sale of ardent spirits to the In- 
ians, winked at, as they undoubtedly were, by the 
public agents, mainly contributed to bring about .a 
war, which resulted in the destruction of a great 
part of the band of Black Hawk. That the allega- 
tions, in regard to the sale of intoxicating liquqp, 
to the Indians, by tHe regularly licensed traders of 
the Ui^ted States, may not be supposed to rest upon 
— ^. — ..awimptions, the following letter, i& 
y 2 261 


quoted, which places the matter beyond all ques- 

St. Peters, July 25, 1832. 

Gnr. Jostra M. Striet, ? 
Indian Agent, Prairie du Chien. 5 

Sia— I arrived at this place yesterday from the sources of the Missis- 
sippi, having visited the Chippewa bands ami trading-posts in that quarter 
Much complaint is made respecting the cor/Wt of the persons licensed 
by you List year, who located themselves at the Granite Rocks, and on 
the St Croix. No doubt can exist that each of them took in, and 
Used in their trade, a considerable quantity of whiskey.' And I am 
now enabled to say, that they each located themselves at points within 
the limits of my agency, where there are no trading-posts established. 
My lowest trading-post on the Mississippi, is the Pierced Prairie, eigh- 
teen miles below the mouth of the De Corbeau. It embraces one 
mile square upon which traders are required to be located. On the 
8t Croix, the posts established and confirmed by the Department are 
Snake River and Yellow River, and embrace each, as the permanent 
place of location, one mile square. I report these facts for your infor- 
mation, and not to enable you to grant licenses for these posts, as 
the instructions of the Department give to each agent the exclusive 
control of the subject of granting licenses for the respective agencies. 

Much solicitude is felt by me to exclude ardent spirits wholly from 
the Chippewas and Ottowas, the latter of whom have, by a recent 
order, been placed under my charge, I am fully satisfied that ardent 
spirits are not necessary to the successful prosecution of the trade, that 
they are deeply pernicious to the Indians, and that both their use 
and abuse is derogatory to the character of a wise and sol)er govern- 
ment Their exclusion in every shape, and every quantity, is an ob- 
ject of primary moment ; and it is an object which I feel it a duty to 
persevere in the attainment of, however traders may bluster. I feel a 
reasonable confidence in stating, tliat no whiskey has been used in my 
agency during the last two years, except the limited quantity taken 
by special permission of the Secretary of War, for the trade of th 
Hudson's Bay lines ; and saving also the quantity clandestinely intro- 
duced from Prairie du Chien and St Peters. 

I know, sir, that an appeal to you on this subject cannot be lost, 
and that your feelings and judgment fully approve of temperance 
measures. But it requires active, persevering, unyielding efforts. And 
in all such efforts, judiciously urged, I am satisfied that the government 
will sustain the agents in a dignified discharge of their duties. Let us 
proceed in the accomplishment of this object with firmness, and with a 
determination never to relinquish it, until ardent spirits are entirely ex- 
elpded from the Indian country. 

I am sir, 

Very respectfully, 

Tour obedient servant, 



In tracing out the causes which led to the late 
war with the Sac and Fox Indians of Rock riven 
reference was made to the violations of the laws o/ 
Congress in the introduction of whiskey among them 
by the white traders. The opinion, moreover, was 
expressed that the licensed traders of the United 
States, among these tribes, were in the habit of 
selling this article to them, and under circumstances 
which must have brought home the fact to th£ 
knowledge of our Indian agents. Black Hawk with 
other chiefs of the band to which he belonged* 
earnestly remonstrated against the introduction oj 
whiskey among his people, because of its debasing 
effect upon their morals, and the danger of its pro- 
voking them to acts of aggression upon the whites, 
while in a state of intoxication. One of the facts, 
set forth in the memorial which the white settlers 
on Rock river, presented to Governor Reynolds, m 
1831, and upon which he declared the state to be 
actually invaded by the Sac and Fox Indians, and 
ordered out the militia to repel it, was the destrao- 
tion, by Black Hawk, of a barrel of whiskey, which 
the owner was retailing to the Indians. The viola- 
tion of the laws of Congress and of express treaty 
provisions, in the sale of ardent spirits to the In- 
dians, winked at, as they undoubtedly were, by the 
public agents, mainly contributed to bring about a 
war, which resulted in the destruction of a great 
part of the band of Black Hawk, That the allega- 
tions, in regard to the sale of intoxicating Uqucgp, 
to the Indians, by tHe regularly licensed traders of 
the United States, may not be supposed to rest upon 
gratuitous assumptions, the following letter, i& 
v 2 361 


quoted, which places the matter beyond all ques- 

St. Peters, July 25, 1833. 

Gnr. JosiFk M. Strict, \ 
Indian Agent, Prairie du Chien. 5 

8rE— I arrived at this place yesterday from die aources of the Missis- 
sippi, having visited the Chippewa bands ami trading-posts in that quarter 
Much complaint is made respecting the coronet of the persons licensed 
by you last year, who located themselves at the Granite Rocks, and on 
toe 8t Croix. No doubt can exist that each of them took in, and 
Used in their trade, a considerable quantity of whiskey.* 1 And I am 
now enabled to say, that they each located themselves at points within 
the limits of my sgency, where there are no trading-posts established. 
My lowest trading-post on the Mississippi, is the Pierced Prairie, eigh- 
teen miles below the mouth of the Be Corbeau. It embraces one 
mile square upon which traders are required to be located. On the 
0t Croix, the posts established and confirmed by the Department are 
Bnafe River and Yellow River, and embrace each, as the permanent 
place of location, one mile square. I report these facts for your infor- 
mation, and not to enable you to grant licenses for these posts, "as 
the instructions of the Department give to each agent the exclusive 
control of the subject of granting licenses for the respective agencies. 

Much solicitude is felt by me to exclude ardent spirits wholly from 
the Chippewas and Ottowas, the latter of whom have, by a recent 
order, been placed under my charge. I am fully satisfied that ardent 
spirits are not necessary to the successful prosecution of the trade, that 
they are deeply pernicious to the Indians, and that both their use 
end abuse is derogatory to the character of a wise and sober govern- 
ment. Their exclusion in every shape, and every quantity, is an ob- 
ject of primary moment ; and it is an object which I feel it a duty to 
persevere in the attainment of, however traders may bluster. I feel a 
reasonable confidence in stating, tliat no whiskey has been used in my 
agency during the last two years, except the limited quantity taken 
by special permission of the Secretary of War, for the trade of th 
Hudson's Bay lines ; and saving also the quantity clandestinely intro- 
duced from Prairie du Chien and St Peters. 

I know, sir, that an appeal to you on this subject cannot be lost, 
and that your feelings and judgment fully approve of temperance 
■' measures. But it requires active, persevering, unyielding efforts. And 
in ail such efforts, judiciously urged, I am satisfied that the government 
will sustain the agents in a dignified discharge of their duties. Let us 
proceed in the accomplishment of this object with firmness, and with a 
aetermmation never to relinquish it, until ardent spirits are entirely ex- 
efeded from the Indian country. 

I am sir, 

Very respectfully, 

Your obedient servant, 



P. & Capt Jouett, commanding at this post, has recently eebso 1 
sixteen kegs ofhigh-wihea. His prompt, decisive, and correct con- 
duct in this, and other transactions relating to Indian aflatr*, merits tils 
approbation of government 

The Petite Corbenu has requested that do trader, may be located it 
the mouth of the 6t. Croix. 

The following picture of the present condition: of 
the Winnebagoes, given in the St. Louis Bulletin., 
shows the deplorable results of the intercourse of 
the whites with. the Indians— the baneful effects of 
spirituous liquors upon their morals and habits. 
The Winnebagoes were neighbors of the Sacs and 
Foxes, and long intimately associated with them. 
Twenty years ago, all of these tribes, raised annu- 
ally more corn, beans and other vegetables, than 
were needed for, their own consumption. JNTow they 
are miserable, squalid beggars, without the means 
of subsistence. The faithlessness of the Govern- 
ment, the perfidy and avarice of its agents and 
citizens, have brought this race of people to the 
horrible condition, in which they are represented in 
the statement that follows. 

An agent of the Temperance Society, in a journal of a late tour to 
the region of the Upper Mississippi, presents a picture, melancholy 
indeed, of the present condition of the Indian tribes in that quarter, 
which must deeply rouse the commiseration of every benevolent man. 
From our own personal observation one year since, we would cor- 
roborate the assertion, that were the world ransacked for a subject 
in which should be concentrated and personified injustice, oppression, 
drunkenness, squalid filth, and degradation, one would point to the 
straggling Indian on the bonks of the Upper Mississippi for the aptest 

There were some two or three hundred of these stragglers — Win- 
nebagoes, chiefly, about Prairie du Chien— men, women, and children, 
many of whom had scarcely the fragments of a filthy blanket to hide 
their nakedness or screen them from the cold — strolling and straggfing 
about in squads of from two to a half dozen each, begging for whiskey, 
or cold potatoes, or crusts of bread. One old female, doubtless turned 
of threescore and ten, half naked, was gathering up from the dirt and 
ashes about the boiler of the steam boat, a few pieces of dried apples 
'that had been dropped and trodden under foot, which, with her tooth- 
less gums, she attempted to masticate with all the eagerness of a starv- 
ing swine. Little dufiren, from one to far yearn old, were crawling 


•boat in a state of nudity, and almost of starvation, while their own 
mothers and fathers, were staggering, and fighting, and ticearing. Itiaa 
fret, that while these poor creatures cannot articulate a word -of any 
thing else in English, the most awfully profane expressions will drpp 
-from their lips in English, as fluently as if it had been their vernacular 
tongue, when the whites first settled in that neighborhood, the In- 
diana raised corn and other provisions enough, not only for their own 
use, but also for the fur-traders and settlers. 

Now they are altogether dependent for even the scanty subsistence 
by which they are dragging out the remnant of a miserable life, upon 
the whites. And what has been tbje cause of so great a change in a 
few years in the circumstances and habits of a whole people? The 
answer is plain to every one at ail acquainted with Indian history. 
It is the perfidy and avarice of the whites, and whiskey, whiskxt htm 
been the all potent agent by which it has been effected. By selling 
and giving them whiskey till they become drunk, they are soon filched 
of the little annuities received from government ; and then treated the 
rest of the year like so many dogs. — As an illustration of the feeling to- 
wards them, a merchant at Prairie du Chien expressed the very hu- 
mane wish, that there might soon be another Indian war to kill them 
all off 

Pr\ x 



Armstrong fort built, 96. 

Atkinson, General, ordered to Rock Island, 140— directs Black 
Hawk to return to the west side of the Mississippi, 140— 
takes command of the Illinois millitia, 141— proceeds to 
Dixon's Ferry, 1.41 — attack on Black Hawk at Bad-axe, 
156— official account, 158 — .his letter of approval from War 
Department, 179* 


Black Hawk's account of the treaty of 1804, 98. 

Black Hawk Purchase, in 1832, 70. 

Black Hawk, birth and eariy adventures, 74— his battle with 
the Osages in 1786, 75— with Cherokees, 75 — with Chip- 
peways, Kaskaskias and Osages, 76— his account of Pike's 
visit, 77 — his attack on Fort Madison, 78— joins the British 
army, 80 — bis return, 80 — murder of his adopted son, 81— 
battle of the sink-hole near Cap au Gris, 83 — his attack up- 
on boats going to Prairie des Chiens, 86 — makes peace 
with the United States, 86 — death of his eldest son, 90— 
visit to the Ioway village, 89 — visit to Maiden, 90 — whip- 
ped by some Americans, 91 — refuses to remove to the west 
side of the Mississippi, 92 — whites encroach upon his vil- 
lage, 93 — burning of his lodges, 96 — interview with Gov- 
ernor Coles and Judge Hall, 96 — agrees to remove for six 
thousand dollars, 100 — interview with Gaines, 103 — re- 
moves to west side Mississippi, 104 — treats with Gaines 
and Reynolds, 104 — causes which led to the war, 108 — 
his attempted alliance with other tribes, 111 — discontented 
on west side of the Mississippi, 138 — sends messenger to 
Keokuk, 138 — collects his band at Fort Madison and crosses 
to east side of the Mississippi, 139 — proceeds to the pro- 
phet's village up Rock river, 140— ordered back by General 
Atkinson, 141 — makes his camp at Kisk-wa-cokee — is at- 
tacked in his camp by Maj. Stillman, 145— -his flag of truce 
fired upon, 145— defeats Stillman, 146— attack upon Buf- 
falo Grove, 149— his battle on the Wisconsin, 151— flies 
to the Mississippi, 152 — attacked by the steam boat War- 
rior, 153— his white flag fired upon, 153— his defeat at the 
Bad-ax^, 156— escape, 161 — capture, 162— causes leading 
to this war, 171 — at Jefferson Barracks, 189 — sent to 

, Washington city, 192— confined at Fortress Monroe, 193 
—interview with the President, 192 — speech to Col. Eus- 
tfe, 193^-releastd, 195— visit to Norfolk, 196^-toBaltimox% 

£86 IKDEX. 

196 — interview with President, 197 — visit to Philadelphia. 
199—10 New York, 200 — to Albany, 202— to Buffalo, 20£-« 
interview with Senecas, 203 — visit to Detroit, 203 — reaches 
fort Armstrong, 206 — refuses to submit to Keokuk, 209 — hit 
final speech in the council, 215— visit in 1837 to Washington, 
216 — visit to Boston, 217 — to Cincinnati, 217 — his character 
and personal appearance, 218— number of his warriors in 
campaign of 1832, 220. 

Cahokias conquered, 16. 

Clark, George Rogers, relieves St. Louis, Stt-^sends troops 

into the Indian country, 25. 
Cole, Governor, meets Black Hawk, 96. 
Clark, General, letter to War Department, ICfr. 
Cap au Gris, battle of, 83. 
Cholera among Scott's troops, 166. 
Cass, Lewis, report to the President, 178. 
Cass' letter to Gen. Atkinson, 179. 
Cass' accouutof Sacs and Foxes, 181. 
Colonization of the Indians, 228, 


Drakeford's battle near Cap au Gris, 84. 
*De<%e, General, kills 29 Indians, 149— his battle of the Wis- 
consin, 151. 
Davenport, Col. Wm., speech to Black Hawk, 210. 

E " 

Everett, Governor, speech to Keokuk in Boston, 131— -makes 
them presents, 135. 

Fort Armstrong built, 87. 
Foxes, party of, murder 28 Menominies, 137 


Good spirit of Rock Island, 87. 

Galland's description of Sac village, 94. 

Gaines, General, letter to Reynolds, 102^orders troops to 
Rock Island, 102 — interview with Black Hawk, 103 — takes 
possession of Sac village, 103 — treats with the British 
Band, 104 — his letter to War Department, 106. 

Garland, Maj., takes, charge of prisoners, 197—- his release 
of Black Hawk, 211. 


Harrison, General, account of the conquest of the Illinois 
tribes, 26 — his treaty with the Sacs and Foxes in 1804, 50. *" 

Hall, Judge, account of Sao. village, 28— his interview with 

irosac 2« 

Black Hawk, 96 — his aocount of the Sacs and Foxes* art 
Washington, 127. 


Illinois tribes conquered, 15. 

Indians, power to sell lands, 59. 
Johnson, John, letter to Secretary at War, 63. 
Illinois militia, flight at Sycamore creek, 146. 
Irving, Washington, account of Black Hawk, 191. 
Indian dancing ceremonies, 237. 


Kaskaskias Conquered, 16. 

Keokuk removes west of Mississippi, 92 — his birth, 114— -age, 
115 — admitted to the council-lodge, 116 — bold adventure 
with the Sioux, 117 — his interview with the Menominies* 
1^9 — in peril with his tribe, 122 — removed from his post of 
head chief, 123 — re-instated, 124 — delivers up his nephew 
to be tried for murder, 125— his letter to Governor of Illi- 
nois, 125— -visit to Washington city in 1827 and council 
with Secretary at War, 127— visit ^b Philadelphia, Nbw 
York and Boston, 132— -speech in reply to Gov. Everett, 
133 — return to the west, 135 — character, 135— his visit to 
Jefferson barracks, 190— hie speech on the liberation of 
Black Hawk, 208 — final speech in the council, 213 — his 
visit to Washington in 1837,216 — conduct to Black Hawk, 


Lewis and Clark's aocount of Sacs and Foxes, 45. 


Minneway tribes, 15. 

Mascontins, battle with Sacs and Foxes, 17. 
Memorial to Gov. Reynolds, 102. 
Menominies, murdered by the Foxes, 138. 
Macomb, Gen., report to Secretary at War, 178. 

Naopoke's visit to Maiden, 138 — captured, 165— his testimony 
before Scott, 166 — at Jefferson barracks, 189* 


Osages, battle with Sacs and Foxes, 75. 


Peorias conquered, 16. " 

Primm's account of the attack on St. Louis in 1779, 18. 

Pike's account of Sacs and Foxes, 44. 


Posey, Col., at Buffalo grove, 150. 
Prophet, Wabokieshiek, 168. 
Pashepahow's speech, 212. 


Qaashqaame, account of treaty of 1804, 58. 


Reynolds, Governor, letter to Clark, 101 — to Gaines, 103— 
declares the state to be invaded, 101 — letter to War De- 
partment, 106 — orders out the militia and joins Atkinson, 
141 — makes a treaty with the Sacs and Foxes, 170. 

Sac and Fox Indians, origin of, 13 — Identity of the tribes, 14 
— residence, 14 — removal to the west, 14— conquest of the 
Illini tribes, 15 — their attack on St. Louis in 1779, 18 — their 
village, 28— their war and peace chiefs, 3Ch- division into 
families, 31 — mode of burial, 35 — idea of a future state, 36 
—in regard to the creation of the world, 37 — social relations, 
41 — musical instruments, 41 — Pike's account of them, 45 
—their character for courage, 48 — treaty with the United 
States in 1789, 49— ditto at St. Louis in 1804, 50 — they are 
excited to hostilities by British agents, 62 — offer to fight 
against England, 63 — part of them join the British standard, 
64 — treaty with them 13th Sep. 1815, 64 — ditto I4th Sep. 
1815, 64— ditto with British Band, 64-— relinquish lands in 
Missouri, 66 — treaty of Prairie des Chiens in 1825, 65— 
treaty for mineral region in 1828, 68 — Black Hawk pur- 
chase in 1832, 70 — their present residence, 71 — sale of 
their lands on Rock river, 99 — treaty with Scott and Rey- 
nolds, 170 — described by Gov. Cass, 181. 

Still man, Maj., proceeds to Sycamore creek, 141 — attacks 
Black Hawk and is defeated, 142 — fires upon Black Hawk's 
flag of truce, 145. 

Stephenson, J. W., kills some Indians, 149. 

Scott, General, arrival at Rock Island, 165 — treaty with Sacs 
and Foxes, 170. 

Senecas, their speech to Black Hawk, 202. 

Sioux Indians, sketches of, 222. 

Sale of whiskey to the Indians, 245. 


Wabokieshiek, advice to British Band, 93. 
Warrior's attack on Black Hawk, 153. 
Wapellar's speech, 211. 



quoted, which places (he matter beyond all ques- 

Gnr. JosiFk M. Stuixt, ? 

St. Peters, July 25, 1832. 

Indian Agent, Prairie du Chien. 

^ Sim—- I arrived at this place yesterday from die sources of the Misl_ 
sippi, having visited the Chippewa bands anJ trading-posts in that quarter 
Much complaint is made respecting the cor/nct of the persons licensed 
by yon last year, who located themselves at the Granite Rocks, and on 
toe St Croix. No doubt can exist that each of them took in, and 
Used in their trade, a considerable quantity of whiskey.* And I am 
bow enabled to say, that they each located themselves at points within 
file limits of my agency, where there are no trading-posts established. 
My lowest trading-post on the Mississippi, is the Pierced Prairie, eigh- 
teen miles below the mouth of the Be Corbeau. It embraces one 
mile square upon which traders are required to be located. On tbo 
0t Croix, the jwsts established and confirmed by the Department are 
Snake River and Yellow River, and embrace each, as the permanent 
place of location, one mile square. I report these facts for your infor- 
mation, and not to enable you to grant licenses for these posts, as 
the instructions of the Department give to each agent the exclusive 
control of the subject of granting licenses for the respective agencies. 
. Much solicitude is felt by me to exclude ardent spirits wholly from 
tfre Chippewas and Ottowas, the latter of whom have, by a recent 
order, been placed under my charge. I am fully satisfied that ardent 
spirits are not necessary to the successful prosecution of the trade, that 
they are deeply pernicious to the Indians, and that both their use 
and abuse is derogatory to the character of a wise and sober govern- 
ment. Their exclusion in every shape, and every quantity, is an ob- 
ject of primary moment ; and it is an object which I feel it a duty to 
persevere in the attainment of, however traders may bluster. I feel a 
reasonable confidence in stating, tliat no whiskey has been used in my 
agency during the last two years, except the limited quantity taken 
by special permission of the Secretary of War, for the trade of th 
Hudson's Bay lines ; and saving also the quantity clandestinely intro- 
duced from Prairie du Chien and St Peters. 

1 know, air,, that an appeal to you on this subject cannot be lost, 
and that your feelings and judgment fully approve of temperance 
' measures. But it requires active, persevering, unyielding efforts. And 
in all such efforts, judiciously urged, I am satisfied that the government 
will sustain the agents in a dignified discharge of their duties. Let us 
DtOGsed in the accomplishment of this object with firmness, and with a 
determination never to relinquish it, until ardent spirits are entirely ex- 
1 from the Indian country. 

I am sir, 

Very respectfully, 

Your obedient sen-ant, 
Hbjtbt R, ScMSjWKAA